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How Do I Know if I'm in a Hostile Work Environment?

Upset worker

Problems in the workplace are not uncommon – whether it’s a conflict with a coworker, gossip, and a micromanaging boss. But how do you determine if you actually have a hostile work environment? Our attorneys break it down for you below.

What Is a Hostile Work Environment?

A hostile work environment is a workplace that any reasonable person would find abusive or intimidating. Hostile work environments often affect employees’ ability to work. Discriminatory behavior is also often found in hostile work environments. Below are examples of a hostile work environment:

  • Experiencing gender, race, religion, age, orientation, disability, or nation of origin discrimination– categories protected by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • The harassment or discriminating behavior has been pervasive and consistent
  • The employer has failed to investigate or address workplace issues
  • Employees’ work has been affected by the hostile work environment
  • The employer was aware of the hostile behavior and didn’t intervene

Examples of a Hostile Work Environment

It’s not always easy to identify a hostile work environment – you can find examples below:

  • Telling offensive jokes about a person’s race, gender, religion, or other protected categories listed above.
  • Making unwanted comments about a person’s physical appearance
  • Discussing sexual acts or other inappropriate sexual languages
  • Displaying racist or sexual pictures
  • Using offensive slurs
  • Making inappropriate gestures
  • Unwanted touching or sexual advances

What Should I Do If I Work in a Hostile Work Environment?

If your work environment is toxic and sounds like the description above, you can file a claim to protect your employment rights. Our team at Michel | King has years of experience helping workers throughout Birmingham protect their rights from their employer’s wrongdoing. If your ability to work has been affected, you can file a discrimination or sexual harassment claim to get the compensation you deserve and to hold your employers accountable.

Contact our team today at (205) 265-1880 to schedule a consultation!