What is the Legal Definition of a Hostile Work Environment?

The hostility that exists in a corporate environment is actually counterproductive and eats into productivity because it sucks out any individual desire to make the office work together as a team, the hostility creates small pockets of a clique. The creation of an ingroup acknowledges the creation of an outgroup.

The corporate cost can be astronomical on two counts, the first is the sheer drop in productivity, employees who dread coming to work are not likely to brainstorm ideas. Instead they are forced into small cliques that maintain a hostile and disruptive stance.

The second cost is the individual stress to the employees. They suffer from headaches, hypertension and other real or imagined symptoms, that lead to them calling in sick. They are frustrated and the brightest will leave and find a more conducive working environment. The least able stay because they feel that they cannot get another job and their productivity and creativity is also reduced.

It is therefore in the employers interest to stamp out any hostile working environment, yet in many cases it is the bosses that fan the flames of this hostile environment. They force their staff into a position where they are isolated and frustrated.

The U.S. has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and they confer several legal rights to employees. The job of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is to enforce federal laws that prohibit employees being discriminated against. These laws protect both employees and prospective employees against employment discrimination. However whilst many people know that employment discrimination is a crime the details can be a bit fuzzy around the edges.

Employers are not allowed to show any kind of favor or discrimination on the grounds of

  • Race
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Sex
  • Ethnic origins
  • Age (over 40)
  • Genetic information.

However the issues can be slightly broader no discrimination against sex includes any discrimination against women for being pregnant. It also includes harassment by co-workers as well as employees on the above grounds.

Recently it was reported in the British press that a business told a prospective Conservative member of parliament that they would not be considered because the sight of a pregnant woman made him feel sick! American legislation extends to preventing retaliation when complaints were received on the above grounds.

However the laws are not necessarily clear cut because not all employees are protected, it does depend on the number of employees and the type of employment discrimination alleged.

Despite this any employee can lodge a”Charge of Discrimination” even if they are not protected In fact all discrimination lawsuits must be preceded by a charge of discrimination, unless the employee is filing for discrimination on the grounds of unequal. However there is a time limit against these charges and that time constraint is strictly enforced.

The charge of discrimination is what it says it is an allegation and there are no claims at all that the government agree Wit the charge. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has a legal obligation to investigate the charge of discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the power to force the employer to disclose certain records regarding their employment policy.

The next step in the process is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues a right to sue, which gives the employee the right to take legal action against their employers’. The employee has a year exactly to procure the right to sue, but this figure is not always the same for government workers.

One benefit about discussions with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the fact that there advice is both free and implies confidentially which means that you do not pay and they cannot take any action without your approval.

However it is crucial that you accept that their word is not necessarily written in stone – they may feel that you do not have any grounds to sue for discrimination, but a lawyer may well advise you differently. This is because defining a hostile working environment is by its very nature contentious. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission tends to confine its definitions to the categories which are listed above and any other local laws, because they carry federal protection.

Sometimes that can leave you in a situation that you feel you have no options, and this is rarely the case. In most cases there are options, but you are not aware of those options. Pre-Paid Legal Services, which have a fixed low cost monthly charge provides phone consultations with labor lawyers.

Some cases are rejected because the employee has not stated to their employer that they are a victim of discrimination. However there may be valid reasons why an employee has failed to do that, they may feel that they will aggravate an already hostile working environment.

An employer has a legal responsibility to provide a mechanism for reporting experiences, that confers some levels of protection to their employees. It is often grounds of discrimination that this protection is not in place nor enforced. It is not enough to be there, an employer cannot pay lip service to this, they must make a situation safe for the employee to speak.

However some form of document is essential if only the alleged times and dates of the employment discrimination. never give your employee a letter or a document without retaining a copy. State clearly your objections and grounds of the discrimination and ask for the behavior to stop. Write down any actions from your employer in retaliation of the alleged discrimination and if possible provide witnesses. it is often best to speak to trusted colleagues outside of the working environment.

This has a two fold effect you feel less isolated and alone and are not treated as a pariah in the workforce. This reduces the stress a little. Also their is someone backing up your allegations.

Inside Legal Shield: A Critical 3rd Party Review

About Legal Shield

Legal Shield is a company founded in 1972 by entrepreneur and visionary, Harland Stonecipher. Mr. Stonecipher founded the company after being involved in a serious vehicle accident. Although he had car insurance to assist in his vehicle damage as well as health insurance to cover his hospital bills, he was completely unprepared for the legal expenses he quickly incurred.

Mr. Stonecipher quickly realized that although the United States has long had one of the world’s most advanced legal systems offering “justice for all”, often times that justice comes at quite a steep price that the average American unfortunately struggles to afford.

He decided to create a solution and thereby offer top legal services to Americans everywhere at a fraction of what those same services would normally cost. Pre-Paid Legal Services was born.

The company expanded quickly and was even listed on the New York Stock Exchange where it was a consistent top performer. In June of 2011, Stonecipher and his shareholders completed the sale and managerial transfer of the company to Midocean Partners, making it a privately held company for the first time in a long while.

The decision to re-brand and rename the company, Legal Shield, was officially announced at the company’s convention in Dallas, Texas on September 10, 2011. Legal Shield provides its services throughout the United States as well as in 4 Canadian provinces.

Legal Shield Service Summary

Legal Shield services are available on a month-to-month basis. Members have access to a multitude of service offerings that are tailored specifically to their needs. For $26 a month, one of the most popular plans the company offers members is called the Family Plan. It provides members with 5 main areas of coverage.

The first area of coverage is preventive legal services. Members receive access to premier law firms in their state for unlimited phone consultations. Members can have wills prepared for them as well as letters or phone calls written or placed on their behalf by the law firm.

The second area coverage is for motor vehicle incidents. Members can receive representation and consultation for moving traffic violations as well as for incidents of manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, and other vehicular homicide charges.

The third coverage area is trial defense. Members receive 75 hours of their law firm’s time for civil or criminal suit consultation and representation. Additional hours are available at a significant discount of the law firms’ regular hourly rate.

The fourth area is IRS audit coverage. Members have access to up to 50 hours of a tax attorney’s assistance in case they are audited by the IRS.
The fifth area of coverage provides members with a 25 % discount of the law firm’s regular hourly rate for legal issues that do not fall within the four areas of coverage.

Legal Shield also offers its members 24/7 access to an attorney should they be detained by police, be involved in a car accident, etc.

Another one of Legal Shields more popular services is its Identity Theft Shield. For a monthly fee this service provides continual monitoring of a member’s credit profile as well as full forensic restoration services in case their identity is compromised.


Legal Shield markets its services through a diverse network of business affiliates known as independent associates. In order to enroll as an associate one must pay a one time fee of $249. The company provides marketing materials, support, and on going training.

Legal Shield pays advanced commissions on the sale of its membership plans.These upfront bonuses can be quite lucrative allowing associates to generate large commissions paid on a daily basis. Legal Shield associates also have the ability to recruit other associates to market the company’s services and recruit associates. Associates are able to earn commission overrides on the sales efforts of those within their own personal sales organisations.

The Missing Piece

The Legal Shield financial opportunity provides associates with a fantastic opportunity to build a lucrative home-based business and achieve financial independence. However, as with any business enterprise an associate’s chances of success are directly related to hard work and effort in order to achieve maximum results.

Although Legal Shield may sometimes provide its associates with potential customers or leads the reality is that the vast majority of an associate’s responsibility is to find new customers and sales associates on their own. This presents numerous challenges for any associate especially those who have not been able to grow a business beyond their friends and family members.

However, with the dramatic rise of the internet, Legal Shield associates can now equip themselves with dynamic new online marketing strategies and approaches that will help them grow a successful Legal Shield business without having to chase friends and family members around. Mastering online marketing strategies is a critical component to success in Legal Shield and for many associates it is the “missing piece” to achieving great success with this company.

Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity – A Third Party Assessment

If you’re looking at the Prepaid Legal business opportunity, or indeed any MLM, it is important to get some knowledge on where the company came from, what it is doing today, and whether or not it might be a good fit for you.

The Prepaid Legal business opportunity was started by Harland C. Stonecipher after an accident in 1969 left him with large legal bills. The idea was to create the piece of mind for the members that if anything should happen they already have legal advice to hand. Prepaid Legal began using the MLM marketing model in 1983, and has been one of the leaders of the MLM industry ever since. They market solely through network marketing, and today have over 1.5 million members in the U.S. and Canada.

Prepaid Legal offers legal service plans utilizing a large network of law firms across North America. The plans typically offer free legal consultation, document preparation, will preparation, and defence for various auto related charges. They have also more recently added identity protection as a possible added bonus in their membership packages. While these products can be incredibly valuable, and have no doubt helped many people, not everyone who buys a membership would if there were not an opportunity attached. It is important to consider if this industry and these products are something you can get really excited about before joining the company. It can be somewhat similar to selling insurance packages in that you are simply selling piece of mind.

Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity
Prepaid Legal uses a direct sales compensation model. So when you make a sale, you get a commission. They pay daily, which is something they are particularly proud of, and you get advanced commissions. When you sell a membership for $26 a month you get a commission between $25 and $182.50 depending on what level of qualification you have, this represents the commission you would receive on the membership for the entire year. The downside of instant commissions paid in advance is if your memberships get cancelled within the first year, the company will initiate a chargeback and you will have to give back any advanced commissions that you didn’t earn. Remember with this type of MLM opportunity the more people you recruit, the more money you make as you also make percentages based on the sales that are happening within your organization.

The downside of this opportunity is that it is a little bit outdated. They recommend talking to friends and family, and primarily promote selling the plans and the business on a face to face basis. While this did work well when the company first started, this method of advertising will make you fail, and fast. You need to be able to leverage your time and efforts using the internet and the tools that are available to marketers today. If you don’t have a strong marketing plan, and you aren’t using the power of the internet you are unlikely to recruit people into your business, as they will join a company that is more up-to-date and can help them learn to build an online business empire. With all the options out there today, you need to be able to offer a clear, easy, and efficient way to market for your recruits.