Bully Bosses and Rogue Managers

Austin Attorneys Assisting Victims of Hostile Work Environments

Often, a hostile work environment is created by the people in charge. Bully bosses and rogue managers can make it difficult for a worker to continue productively at a job, and in some cases, the atmosphere created by hostile and intimidating remarks and actions is so severe that a worker feels as though they have been constructively discharged. At Wiley Walsh, P.C., our Austin hostile work environment lawyers can offer experienced counsel and representation if you face a hostile work environment as a result of harassment by supervisors, managers, or officers of your company.

Dealing with Bully Bosses and Rogue Managers

Hostile work environment harassment is unlawful when it occurs on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or a protected activity, such as reporting discrimination under Title VII or Texas Labor Code Chapter 21. The harassing actions must be severe or pervasive, and the court will look at whether they were so objectively offensive that they altered the terms or conditions of employment. For example, if your manager assaulted you, courts are likely to see this as objectively hostile and to find that the assault changed the work environment for you. Similarly, if your boss subjected you to abuse and called you a racial epithet each day, a court is likely to find that a hostile work environment was created.

In some situations, a single remark or isolated incident can be serious enough to create a hostile work environment. For example, courts have found that a single use of a racial epithet or sexual slur can create a hostile environment. As another example, courts have found that a single incident of displaying a noose at work creates a hostile environment.

While an employer is always liable for a supervisor's harassment if it culminates in a tangible event, such as a termination or demotion, an employer can also be liable for a boss, supervisor, or manager who creates a hostile work environment when there is no tangible employment decision taken against the worker. You can hold your employer vicariously liable for hostile work environment harassment if a hostile work environment was created by a supervisor with immediate or successively higher power and supervisory authority over your work conditions and you.

Your employer may try to defend itself by claiming that it used reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the harassment and that you failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective opportunities that it gave you. It may also try to show that the person who created the hostile work environment did not have supervisory authority over you. The determination about whether the person who harassed you had sufficient authority over you is based on their job function, rather than their title. If someone has the authority to take or recommend a tangible employment action that affects you or can direct your daily work activities, that person has supervisory authority over you.

Contact an Experienced Hostile Work Environment Attorney in Austin

Hostile work environment claims can be challenging to establish because most of the evidence is within the control of your employer. It is important to consult a skilled litigator in this situation. If you have been harmed by a bully boss or rogue manager, you should discuss the matter with our Austin attorneys. Wiley Walsh, P.C. represents workers in cities such as Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. Call us at (512) 271-5527 or use our online form to set up an appointment with an employment discrimination lawyer.

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