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I had an incident at work that created a hostile work

Customer Question
I had an incident...

I had an incident at work that created a hostile work environment for me and I want to know if there are basis for a law suit

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Illinois

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I was humiliated and singled out in a full company meeting with a garbage crown

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
12/14/2017
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,638
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

The term hostile work environment is an often misunderstood one. It sounds like it would absolutely apply to your situation, but what it sounds like and what it is are very different.

Hostile work environment was defined by the Supreme Court and they specifically stated that there are two elements necessary. First, you must have some sort of harassment (which I think you have). However, it is the second element that is the most important and most overlooked. Second, you must show that the harassment is directed at or based on discrimination due to your race, religion, gender, age (over 40), disability or recent FMLA (medical leave) use.

The high court stated that our employment laws are only narrowly tailored to deal with illegal forms of discrimination, made illegal by statutes. Our employment laws are not meant to be a civility code for the workplace (their words, not mine).

While you certainly have described a situation of embarrassment and harassment, unless you can connect it to race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use, it is not illegal.

If you can, then you simply have to file a complaint with the EEOC (or Department of Labor for FMLA) so that the matter can be investigated, before you are allowed to sue.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,638
19,638 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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