Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Anyone in the workplace might commit this type of harassment – a management official, co-worker, or non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or guest. The victim can be anyone affected by the conduct, not just the individual at whom the offensive conduct is directed.
Things that may create a hostile work environment include, but are not limited to:
- Making offensive remarks about an employee’s looks, clothing or body parts;
- Making racial comments or using racially derogatory slurs or phrases ;
- Sharing sexually or lewd jokes and making sexual gestures; and
- Negative comments regarding an employee’s when referring to employees 40 and over.
Sexual harassment or workplace discrimination is most commonly based on race, sex, religious beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation that creates a hostile work environment.
Federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act, the American Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and state laws provide legal protection from being subjected to a hostile work environment.
A hostile work environment is a serious issue that can severely affect your work performance and hinder your career advancement. It can make you fearful of your boss, co-workers or supervisors, and in some cases, a hostile work environment can be unbearable enough to make you want to leave a job you otherwise enjoy.
If you are a victim of a hostile work environment, our attorneys at Chelle & Zoldan can give you strong legal advice and guide you through the entire process of filing a claim.