What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment
As defined by federal law, a hostile work environment exists when the action of one person makes it difficult for another person to conduct work. This is most typically caused by different forms of repeated and unchecked harassment; perhaps the most common case of this is sexual harassment, which can occur when any sexually suggestive act interferes with another’s work or well-being. When a hostile work environment does exist, work efficiency and one’s personal safety can be compromised.
Common Actions Leading to a Hostile Work Environment
There will always be things in the workplace that employees find annoying and bothersome, but not all of them can justify a hostile work environment claim. To create a hostile work environment, the action must be severe or pervasive enough to impede a worker’s rights as an employee. Furthermore, to be classified a hostile work environment, management must have known about the harassment and failed to ease the situation. Some of the most common forms of harassment that create a hostile work environment include:
- Sexual Harassment
- Workplace Bullying
- Abusive Supervisors
- Discriminatory Jokes or Remarks
- Repeated Assault
- Discrimination Against a Protected Group
Each case of harassment is different and the legality of the offensive behavior will be judged on a case-by-case basis in a formal court proceeding. The level of harassment may also be judged based on the type of work that is done—formal business settings may have a different standard than that of construction sites.
Contact a Hostile Work Environment Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been exposed to a hostile work environment, you may have legal options to protect your right as a Texas employee. At The Melton Law Firm, our legal professionals believe that all employees have the right to feel safe and welcome at their workplace. Contact our qualified attorneys at (512) 330-0017 to learn more about your legal options.