Workplace disturbances that upset workers, detriment their ability to perform duties or threaten their well-being constitute hostile environments. Employees are under no obligation to accept continuous hostility, though many feel their standard of living will suffer absent from their current position. Those who’ve been exposed to unwarranted hostile actions, whether from another employee or employer directly, may be entitled to compensation.

JML Law provides exceptional legal counsel to those seeking an experienced Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney. Certain legal conditions must be met before claims can be successfully litigated, although many aggrieved employees suffering depression and other conditions due to hostile workplaces may have a prima facie case established based on sufferance alone.

What Constitutes ‘Actionable Hostility’?

Natural disturbances – loudly popping bubble gum, makes loud gestures when excited or talking violently with one’s hands – may constitute an ‘annoyance’, but would fail in court. However, if these gestures crossed into protected classes, such as making loud racial slurs or circulating sexually explicit photos of other coworkers, and actionable case of workplace hostility is born.

Anything which violates Civil Rights Act, EEOC regulations or federally protected persons could turn an otherwise peaceful workplace into pandemonium, meriting JML Law’s involvement should those persons feel obligated to bring claims to us.

Prior to bringing claims to our attention, keep in mind questions JML Law’s team may ask:

  1. Were acts which created workplace hostility discriminatory in nature? That is, based on race, religion, color, creed, nationality or the likes?
  2. Was there only one isolated incident which created upheaval, or is this activity pervasive? If the latter, was Human Resources notified of these activities?
  3. Were the pervasive events severe? By severe, we mean disruptive enough that regular tasks became impossible to complete, or career progress was halted.
  4. Did your employer know about these incidents but refuse to intervene? Depending on how widespread hostility gets, an employer’s obliviousness may fail in their defense.
  5. Are you relatively new to your company, or have you accumulated seniority?

Employers normally act vigilantly in ending hostile workplaces, although a growing number either choose to allow these acts or simply don’t care what happens. It’s worth noting employers both in private and public sectors are bound by EEOC laws when employee base exceeds 15, or 20 if the issues are age-related.


There are many different types of behaviors and mistreatment that can create for a hostile work environment and potentially give a victim justification to take legal action. It would be impossible to cover all of them in a single brief guide.

If you believe yours has become a hostile work environment, but you are not certain this is the case, it may be ideal to review the circumstances with the experts at a Los Angeles hostile work environment law firm. Our team will review your case, answer any questions you may have on the topic, and let you know if you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit. We will also provide you with effective representation if you decide to hire us.

That said, learning of some actions, policies, behaviors, and attitudes that can qualify as examples of actionable hostility can provide you with a somewhat better understanding of what is and is not acceptable in the workplace. Examples include:

  1. Sexual harassment: This does not need to merely include “obvious” or overt forms of sexual harassment, such as unwanted touching or sexual advances. It can also include staring, frequent sexual comments or jokes, questions about one’s sexual preferences or behavior, spreading rumors about one’s sexual history or preferences, etc. Speak with a Los Angeles hostile work environment lawyer for more information about how sexual harassment in the workplace can manifest.
  2. Discrimination: Discrimination that causes a work environment to become a hostile one can include jokes, rude comments, or other forms of mistreatment directed at someone based on their membership in a protected class or group. Be aware, if someone’s comments about your age/race/gender/etc. make you feel uncomfortable at work, you do not merely need to accept their excuse of “I was just joking!” If this behavior or treatment is interfering with your ability to complete your work, there is no requirement that you simply tolerate it or attempt to ignore it.
  3. Bullying: In an ideal world, bullying would never occur, and it certainly wouldn’t be an issue anyone would have to worry about struggling with after adolescence. Unfortunately, some people never reach the level of maturity they should, and will thus engage in various forms of bullying in the workplace. This can create an environment in which the targets of their bullying feel victimized and uncomfortable. If an employer allows this treatment to continue, it is wise to take action.

Again, by enlisting the help of a Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney, you can prevent these types of behaviors from continuing.

That said, if you are still working for the company, report your concerns to HR first. This is not because you should be confident HR will remedy the situation. While they hopefully will assist you, even if they don’t, when filing a claim or lawsuit against your employer later, during the legal proceedings that may result, it can be helpful if you’re able to cite a report indicating you went through the proper channels initially.

Peaceful Workplaces are Your Right

Unfriendly workplaces benefit no one. Blue collar or professional workers subjected to constant strife develop depression, stress-related health problems and find themselves choosing sanity overpaying their mortgage. Berating bosses, groups of employees constantly creating chaos, you name it – JML Law has taken cases where once normal professionals turned into unstable time bombs because employers turned their backs to workplace hostility.

If pervasive acts of discrimination have forced workers into making hard choices, let JML Law’s skilled Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney handle your claim. We offer no-charge case evaluations to better acclimated ourselves with your situation and will expound whatever resource is necessary to bring those creating civil injustices at work to justice both punitively, and financially.

Get your questions answered.

Contact Our Lawyers.

Every case is unique and needs to be evaluated by our experienced lawyers. If you have been injured in a work-related accident,

give us a call at 818-610-8800 or send us an email to schedule a free initial consultation. There is no risk to meet with us. We get paid only if we win your claim.