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Are you working in a hostile environment?

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Most people you know understand when you say you have good and bad days at work. While attitude often has a lot to do with job satisfaction, some circumstances can make your job intolerable.

A hostile work environment would make it difficult to do your job right as well as make it nearly impossible to enjoy the work you're doing. You do not have to sit back and let the chips fall where they may. Harassment of any type at the workplace is not normal and should not be tolerated. Know your rights and where to seek support, and take steps to rectify your situation.

What is workplace harassment?

Personality differences and not getting along with someone at work doesn't necessarily constitute harassment. If your manager always disagrees with your opinions and you feel anxious whenever you have a conversation, that probably doesn't cross the line either. Where is the line? There are a number of behaviors that may meet the legal definition of workplace harassment. Here are some examples:

  • Bullying: Undermining or harming a person's professional status or self-confidence with threats, demands or continual annoying actions
  • Discrimination: Verbal or physical conduct aimed at a protected classification such as race, gender, disability, etc.
  • Hostility: Behavior that creates a hostile working environment that impedes your ability to carry out your work duties
  • Sexual advances: Unwanted advances or requests for sexual favors
  • Ongoing harm: Continual or repeated behavior that causes emotional or psychological harm

While there is no guarantee that you will always get along with all your co-workers or managers, you are guaranteed the right to fulfill your workplace obligations in a safe environment. Also, you do not have to endure unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that negatively affects your ability to work.

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