Although no laws specifically address workplace verbal abuse, Indiana employers may still be held to be civilly liable in the event that such behavior is allowed to continue occurring in the workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration's standards that the employer provides a safe and healthy workplace may be interpreted to cover verbal abuse.
When you become aware of something being done unsafely or illegally in your place of work, what is your first instinct? Surely you should report the issue, but what if doing so gets you into trouble with your employer? Work can be hard to come by and as Indiana is an employment-at-will state, it is already all too easy to get fired.
Contracts are especially important in the corporate world. From business contracts that specify ownership of a company to employee contracts that lay out the terms of a person's employment, the necessity of having a variety of issues made legally binding by contract is undeniable. These agreements list obligations on the part of all parties involved, and when one of these parties fails to uphold their end of the agreement, they have effectively breached their contract and broken Indiana law.
While Indiana residents may have an idea of what sexual harassment is, they may not know what is prohibited in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that there are two different types of sexual harassment. The first type is quid pro quo harassment while the other form of harassment occurs when it creates a hostile working environment.
It is a sad fact that many workers in Indiana experience unfair treatment in their workplace every day. For some it arises from a dispute with colleagues or superiors over matters such as safety violations or company misconduct. For others it is a much more personal attack, referring to any number of other characteristics that have no bearing on their job.
The United States Department of Labor has guidelines explaining what constitutes workplace harassment in their offices, and this includes sexual harassment. Indiana employees of the Department of Labor are protected by these guidelines, but the federal laws on these matters apply to a broad spectrum of employers around the country.
Federal and state discrimination laws make it an illegal act for any employer to engage in discrimination against anyone based upon ancestry, national origin, disabilities, color, sex, religion, or race. Disabled employees in Indiana are further protected on a broader basis than what federal statutes provide for them. Age discrimination in the state is also illegal; however, court action as a remedy for age discrimination is not permitted under state law.
One of the worries for many employees in Indiana is the fact that it is an employment-at-will state. Knowing you could be dismissed for practically anything is enough to set anyone on edge. But what happens if you are fired for an illegal reason, such as discrimination or retaliation? It is a deeply distressing thing to go through and may leave you worried about the future. However, the first thing you should do is prepare to fight back.
Pregnant Indiana employees are protected by federal laws from being discriminated against due to their pregnancy, childbirth or a medical condition related to either of these. These laws pertain to any adverse employment action, including hiring, termination, pay rate, promotions, benefits, job duties and any other term of employment.
Indiana employees who are committed to a particular faith might worry about religious discrimination issues that might affect their ability to express those beliefs in various ways. It is helpful to understand factors that may constitute religious discrimination so that offenses can be identified if they occur. The unfavorable treatment of individuals due to their religious beliefs is considered discrimination. This can include such treatment in connection with organized religions, but it may also include unfavorable treatment of those who have other religious, moral, or ethical beliefs that are sincerely held. Such discrimination could also include situations in which an individual is treated differently because of an association with or marriage to someone who has a particular religious affiliation.
If you are being unfairly treated in your workplace, your first reaction might be to report the situation to your employer. But what if your employer is the one making you feel uncomfortable? Or what if you worry that speaking up could get you into more trouble or even cost you your job? Indiana is an employment-at-will state, which means that you could be dismissed for almost any reason.