Hostile Environment Attorney Colorado

Hostile environment attorney in Colorado helps employees and employers resolve hostile work environment claims. Hostile work environment is a legal term of art that has a specific meaning. Any claims for harassment or hostile behavior in the workplace falling outside of the specific meaning is generally not actionable as a hostile work environment claim. A hostile environment attorney in Colorado can help you assess your situation and determine whether there is a case against your employer.

Workplace harassment lawyers in Colorado

Hostile work environment claims arise under specific labor and employment law settings. If a Colorado employer’s harassment or hostile environment occurs for any reason not prohibited by law then a lawsuit is not available to seek relief against an employer. This is why you should talk to a Colorado hostile environment attorney about your situation to determine what remedies are available.

sexual harassment confidentiality agreement

One common labor and employment law situation involving a hostile environment is unlawful employment discrimination. Federal and Colorado employment law prohibit employers from harassing employees on the basis of a protected trait or characteristic. These include traits and characteristics protected by federal laws such as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Colorado employment law similarly prohibits discrimination on several protected traits and characteristics.

Federal and Colorado law also prohibits workplace harassment as retaliation for exercising a protected employment law or labor law right. Sometimes an employer retaliates by terminating or demoting an employee for exercising an employee right. An employer that retaliates by creating a hostile work environment also violates the law. Employees facing harassment as a form of retaliation for exercising a legal right can seek remedies. Examples of these rights include:

  • Working with coworkers to improve workplace conditions
  • Taking FMLA protected leave
  • Requesting an accommodation to a disability
  • Requesting an accommodation to a religious practice

Similarly, an employer may not create a hostile environment as a form of retaliation for participating in an investigation, reporting, or proceedings regarding an unlawful employment practice. These include retaliating for:

  • Reporting employment discrimination to the EEOC
  • Participating in an employer’s investigation of another employee’s report of discrimination
  • Complaining about unpaid wages or overtime pay
  • Testifying in a trial on another employee’s lawsuit

If you think your employer harassed you for one of these reasons then you should talk to a hostile environment attorney in Colorado right away.

Hostile environment in Colorado

A hostile work environment arises when harassing behavior meets a certain standard. This standard is complex and an employee must prove each element of a hostile work environment to prevail on his or her case.

The definition of workplace harassment includes:

  1. The perpetrator is in a position related to the victim’s employment;
  2. The victim is an employee of the employer alleged to have harassed or allowed the employee to be harassed;
  3. The victim endured offensive behavior at work;
    1. Offensive to a reasonable person; and
    2. Offensive to the victim;
  4. The employee was either:
    1. Required to endure the offensive conduct as a condition of continued employment; or
    2. Was severe or pervasive such that it created an environment that is abusive (a hostile work environment) or results in an adverse employment action; and
  5. The offensive conduct was motivated by an illegal reason.

Just as hostile work environment is a term with a specific legal meaning, each of these terms also has specific legal meaning. Decoding the legal standard for a hostile work environment is not easy. If you think you have been harassed at work you should talk to a hostile environment attorney in Colorado right away.