Doing The Right Way
Defining Hostile Work Environment: What It Means to You and What You Can Do
“Hostile work environment” is a term that a lot of people have heard many times. But then, for many people, they are still unable to grasp the true meaning of this term. A work environment that is considered hostile is something that any legal professional is well aware. If you are not an attorney, however, you might not know the legal underpinnings of a hostile work environment. When it comes to employees, this concept is something that you should consider of utmost importance and one that you should now the true meaning about. If you have a hostile work environment, this leads to liability on the part of the employer in terms of harassment claims, employee lawsuits, and other legal issues. Aside from these serious legal problems, you also need to deal with unhappy employees, a high turnover rate, and lower productivity. This article will provide you information on what makes a work environment hostile and what you can do about this issue.
When it comes to understanding hostile work environments better, you have to also familiarize yourself with areas that don’t fall under this particular category. It has become a common misconception for a lot of people to think that a single incident, a mean supervisor, and a rude coworker all encompass a hostile environment. However, these are areas that don’t at work that don’t make the environment hostile. According to the US EEOC or Equal Opportunity Commission, there are a couple of factors that consider a work environment hostile.
The EEOC defines a hostile work environment as demonstrating unwelcome conduct that is based on genetic information, disability, age, national origin, sex, religion, color, and race. There is hostility in the workplace when enduring the said offensive conduct becomes a condition to obtain continued employment. There is also hostility in the workplace when the conduct leads to a workplace environment that any reasonable person will find abusive, intimidating, or hostile.
It is a must that you understand what a hostile work environment is based on the definition by the EEOC means to you as an employee. There are all sorts of examples that serve as offensive conduct that you find at work. You have to be fully aware of these things. Some of these examples include name-calling including epithets, racial slurs, and offensive names and offensive jokes like sexual or racial jokes. Hostile work environment examples include ridicule or mocking of a person, offensive objects and pictures, putdowns and insults, intimidation, and physical assaults or threats based on color, sex, or race.
Employees are not the only ones who can experience these conducts of a hostile work environment but also customers, supervisors, employer agents, and coworkers. The person who gets directed at by the offensive act is not the only one affected but also the other workers who have observed the actions.