Stressful woman looking through window

What is a Hostile Work Environment?

No employee should ever fear going to work. There are many reasons an employee may be nervous in the workplace; such as an abusive boss, unwanted sexual advances, discrimination, and more. These are just a few of the events that can categorize an office as a hostile work environment.

Elements of a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is one in which words, actions, or events perpetrated by a manager, supervisor, or other peer make it difficult for the employee to get their work done. While we can have co-workers that annoy us, that is not a strong enough case to label your office as a hostile workplace. So, what can qualify your office as such?

  • Anyone making unwanted sexual advances can be anything from a snide remark to physical touch.
  • Discrimination based on race, sexuality, gender, sex, age, disability, and any other such protected class
  • Abusive conduct that makes you fear going into work
  • Your employer refuses to listen to you and take your problems seriously

What Can You Do?

If you ever feel uncomfortable in your workplace, you should immediately report the issue to human resources or confide in a supervisor you trust. Human resources will help create a report to keep a record of the incident, and hopefully, bring about a solution. Remember, when speaking up for yourself and airing a problem, it is illegal for your place of work or any employee to retaliate against you. You have a right to feel safe, seen, and heard at work, and your employer is legally obligated to provide the resources so that you do. If you still feel ignored and out of your depths, it may be time to turn to a lawyer to help file a lawsuit against your company.

For all of your employment law needs and questions contact Kennard Law, P.C. at (855) 499-4514! We work hard to make sure it’s not hard for you to go to work.