What is a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment is a term used to describe a workplace where an employee feels harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against due to their race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic.
A hostile work environment can be created by a single incident, such as a discriminatory comment or an inappropriate sexual advance, or it can be a pattern of behavior that makes it difficult or impossible for an employee to do their job.
Some examples of behaviors that can create a hostile work environment include:
- Offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s race, gender, or other protected characteristic
- Physical or verbal threats
- Sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual advances
- Refusing to work with or provide opportunities to someone based on their protected characteristic
- Sabotaging someone’s work or making it difficult for them to do their job effectively
It’s important to note that not all unpleasant or uncomfortable situations at work rise to the level of a hostile work environment. To be considered a hostile work environment, the behavior must be severe and pervasive, and it must interfere with the employee’s ability to do their job. If you believe you are working in a hostile environment, you should speak to a supervisor, HR representative, or an employment lawyer.