If you dread going to work in New York each day because you feel your boss and coworkers are mistreating and bullying you, you might work in a hostile environment. According to study in Market Place Business News, “20 percent of employees experience hostile behavior at their jobs. Keep in mind that there are many reasons why employees do not like going to their jobs. Some of them probably feel the same way you do. However, just because you believe your work environment is a hostile one does not necessarily make it true.
It is important for you to understand how the law defines hostile work environments. Federal law protects employees against sexual harassment, age, disability, harassment, gender, and other types of discrimination. When coworkers, supervisors and other employer representatives’ make comments and harass another worker and violate their employment rights, they are creating a toxic work environment.
In order for a job domain to be classified as hostile, there must be evidence of discrimination, bullying and mistreatment that makes employees feel oppressed, intimidated and harassed. Also, employees must feel so threatened, uncomfortable and offended by the environment at their jobs that their work performance suffers or they dread going to their work. Toxic and unlawful behaviors include verbal abuse, threats, humiliation and unwanted sexual attention.
Toxic work environments can affect more than your work performance. Prolonged exposure can also put you at risk of health complications and work accidents. If you feel you are working a job that has a toxic environment, document all instances of harassment and discrimination you see and believe is contributing to it. You should also speak to an HR representative and an attorney for guidance.