What behaviors contribute to a hostile work environment?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Employment Law |

A hostile work environment can thwart your productivity and disrupt your career. Going to work when you feel uncomfortable may trigger feelings of angst and fear.

Understanding the conditions that contribute to a hostile work environment might help you identify the root of the problem. With your employer’s help, you might have the opportunity to make a change.

Inappropriate commentary

Having fun with the people you work with can make the day a lot more enjoyable. However, when that “fun” takes an inappropriate turn, it can make everyone uncomfortable. Inappropriate commentary, especially about protected groups, can cause unrest, tension and hostility. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, no one should harass you because of disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion or race.

Offensive displays

Displays that you might find offensive should not exist in the workplace. If you notice that someone has set out an offensive display, you should immediately bring it to the attention of the human resources department. Efforts to promptly remove the item should follow.

Physical assault

Physical assault is another big contributor to a hostile work environment. Your employer should provide instructions on how to handle challenging situations in the workplace. This should involve suggestions for problem-solving and may also include training to develop such skills.

If you notice something amiss in the workplace or have an unsettling experience, your employer should know about it. You deserve to work in an environment that is conducive to productivity and makes you feel safe and valued.