Hostile Work Environment
For legal purposes, “hostile workplace” has specific definitions. Several different state and federal statutes describe circumstances in which harassment or discrimination create a hostile work environment and are unlawful. In each of these circumstances, the employee is a member of a protected class and the hostility relates to their classification; the hostility is ongoing and severe or pervasive; and the employer fails to take measures to stop the hostile behavior.
Without experience, it can be difficult to determine if an uncomfortable workplace situation meets the criteria for unlawful actions. There are time limits for filing claims of discrimination. Workplace policies may also figure in preventing or mitigating the behavior that results in a hostile environment. All in all, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney about the specifics of your workplace, and we invite you to contact us with any questions you may have.