While employers in Colorado and states across the nation work hard to create a safe work environment for all employees, this can unfortunately fall short in some situations. An employer cannot be everywhere or know everything; however, if their policies, remedial actions for reports of harassment or federal compliance is not appropriate, then an employer could be held accountable for harassment that occurs in the work environment.
Hostile work environment
Acts of harassment and discrimination can create a hostile work environment. This occurs when an employee is subjected to unfair treatment based on a protected characteristic, such as race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status.
When it comes to preventing this treatment and creating a safe work environment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most comprehensive. Additionally, state human rights commission aid on the state level with the prohibition of unfair employment practices.
Not all hostile work environments look the same. In cases where discriminatory behaviors towards an employee exceed that of engaging in unfair employment practices, escalating to verbally or physically abusive behaviors, this is considered harassment. Such a situation could make it difficult or even impossible for the employee to perform his or her work duties.
Whether it is the conduct of an employer, colleague or both that has caused an employee to suffer from harassment, it is imperative that one understands how best to address the matter. It is possible to take action, filing a civil suit. This not only helps the employee hold the party that caused him or her to suffer from harassment, but it also considered the harms suffered and the damages that could help remedy the matter.