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Tampa Bay Hostile Work Environment Attorneys

hostile work environment

Florida Hostile Work Environment Lawyers

Do you live in the Tampa Bay area and have you faced a hostile work environment? Stand up for your rights with legal representation from Kemp, Ruge & Green.

Many people are confused about the meaning of a “hostile work environment” and whether they can sue their employer over it. If a coworker says rude things, is it considered a hostile work environment? What if they make racist comments? What if they mock your disability?

Usually, a Florida hostile work environment case isn’t proven from a single instance. What’s significant is whether there is a pattern of hostile behavior that renders you unable to do your job duties due to certain actions by someone you work with. Your employer may be failing to provide a safe environment for you.

Workplace hostility is prohibited by at least three federal anti-harassment statutes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Under these laws, it is illegal to discriminate against people based on age, race, religion, sex or disability.

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) puts hostility in the same category as harassment, explaining it as follows:

Harassment becomes unlawful where (1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or (2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive … Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

Unlawful conduct that contributes to a hostile work environment may include:

  • Racial slurs
  • Sexually offensive jokes
  • Epithets and name-calling
  • Ridicule/humiliation
  • Constant mocking
  • Insults and intimidation
  • Sharing offensive objects/pictures
  • Interfering with work performance
  • Making physical threats
  • Inappropriate touching

To have a legal case for a hostile work environment, you will generally have to prove the following four things:

  1. Protected Class. Someone is discriminating against you based on a protected class under the law like race, disability, religion, gender or age.
  2. Persistence. It isn’t a one-time event. Rather, it has occurred in many instances over a period of time.
  3. Severity. The behavior is severe enough that it has disrupted or totally prevented you from doing your normal work routine, or it has disrupted your career path and you have not received a raise/promotion due to the situation.
  4. Reasonability. A reasonable person would consider it hostile and you reasonably believe your employer didn’t address the situation.

The courts tend to look at a “totality of the circumstances” in these cases, which means sometimes an extreme single instance may be enough to show a hostile work environment. So if you’re not sure about your specific situation, it’s time to seek help from an experienced Tampa Bay hostile work environment lawyer who can evaluate your case.

You may be facing hostility in the workplace that is illegal under the law. But you don’t have to face it alone. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group will listen to your story and help you understand your options.


You Deserve a Great Team

Here in Tampa Bay, Kemp, Ruge & Green is known for protecting the rights of Florida citizens and helping people stand up for their rights. This is why we’re listed among the top lawyers in attorney directories. We have extremely high client satisfaction.

“Very down to earth, inviting and friendly. They did their job and kept me informed the whole way through which was very much appreciated! Stephanie was awesome and very relate-able and on it always. Green is welcoming and funny. Who knew a lawyer could be so entertaining? I had no worries. They took care of everything.”

-Nina Diaz

“Best law firm out there. Staff was always available and did a great job. Sandy was exceptional in getting my case resolved fast and with a larger settlement than I expected. Thank you again.”

-James Jokel

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You Deserve Communication

Video Transcript


You Deserve Answers

Do you have questions about hostile work environment cases in the Tampa Bay area? Here are some answers to common questions about this area of the law. For questions regarding your specific situation, please reach out to us at Kemp, Ruge & Green and we’d be glad to help.

What are some examples of a hostile work environment?

These cases vary widely but examples include being subjected to sexual discussions, having someone touch you inappropriately, hearing ongoing racial slurs, being around overtly indecent gestures, receiving offensive emails/pictures and being mocked or humiliated for your disability. These are just a few examples and there are many more situations like these.

Does someone have to be my boss or “above” me in the organization to create a hostile work environment?

No, they do not have to be your supervisor or higher up in the company. They may or may not be in a position of authority to create a hostile work environment in the state of Florida and they could be a coworker, agent of the employer, third party or non-employee who is in your work environment.

What should I do if I’m facing a hostile work environment?

First, never rely on the legal advice of anyone but your lawyer from Kemp, Ruge & Green. Your lawyer will help guide you on what to do next. You’ll need to report your concerns to your boss and/or your human resources department immediately each time incidents happen and document everything as thoroughly as you can.

Which government agencies are involved with hostile work environment cases?

Workplace violations may involve the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the Florida Commission on Human Relations. They may or may not need to be directly involved with your case.

What if I don’t know whether my situation is considered a hostile work environment?

Don’t hesitate to contact us simply because you aren’t sure whether you’re facing a hostile work environment. You need legal advice on this matter from a qualified Florida lawyer who handles these cases.


You Deserve Results

We understand how emotionally draining it can be to face a hostile work environment day after day. It’s stressful, frustrating and interferes with your ability to simply earn your paycheck in a safe and comfortable environment.

Let’s work together to stand up for your rights. You can trust us to help you make your case in the legal system and find the best outcome possible. Kemp, Ruge & Green is fully qualified to handle even the toughest hostile work environment cases in the state of Florida.


You Deserve Kemp, Ruge & Green – When Results Matter

We have experience with hostile work environment cases in the Tampa Bay region, including Hernando County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County and Pinellas County.

Contact us for a consultation about a hostile work environment lawsuit. You are not alone in this battle. We treat every client with care and compassion, and we’re here to help you.

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