Did you know your employer is obligated to provide a reasonable work environment for all employees? You should feel comfortable and safe going to work, both physically and mentally. If your managers or coworkers make your job impossible with threatening actions or harsh words, you might be the victim of a hostile work environment.
What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment?
There’s a difference between an unpleasant work environment and hostile work environment. A coworker can be rude and picking arguments, but this does not constitute a hostile work environment. In a hostile work environment, the behavior being displayed must also be discriminatory in nature. Some examples include:
- A coworker making sexual comments about you and passing around nude pictures
- Your supervisor making crude jokes that discriminate against your gender, race, or religion
- A coworker posting racial jokes to a business group chat room
- A manager treating you with hostility in a discriminatory way
If you think you may be working in a hostile work environment, you have options. You do not have to quit your job or put up with it.
What to Do About a Hostile Work Environment
If you are in a hostile work environment, your first duty is to report it. If it is a coworker creating the problem, you should report it to your immediate supervisor. If your supervisor is causing the problem, you need to report it to their supervisor. Keep going up the chain until you get an appropriate action taken against the individual.
When management does not address the issue, it’s time to call on an experienced law firm to pursue damages. If you are unable to work because of the environment, or if you leave your job because of it, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney right away to learn your rights and take action on your case.