No one in California should have to work in a hostile environment. Unfortunately, many people do. If you are experiencing hostility at work, it is important to take action. The question is this: What is a hostile work environment? How should you deal with it, especially if you are the target?
A hostile work environment
A hostile work environment is one in which an employee is subject to unwelcome, offensive or harassing behavior that’s contrary to employment law. This can include things like sexual harassment, racial discrimination or other forms of bias. If the behavior is severe enough, it can create an atmosphere that is intimidating, offensive or even dangerous.
What does a typical hostile work environment look like?
A hostile work environment can take many forms. It can be something as overt as a coworker making racist or sexist remarks. Or it could be more subtle, like being passed over for promotions because of your gender or race.
What should you do if you are the target of a hostile work environment?
If you feel stuck in a hostile work environment, there are a few things you can do. First, try to speak to the person who is causing the problem. If that doesn’t work, or if the behavior is severe, you can file a complaint with your manager or human resources department.
If you’re facing a form of discrimination, you can report it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you’re a resident of California, you can also contact the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. This is a government agency that can help you resolve your hostile work environment complaint.
You can also file a lawsuit against your employer. This might be your last resort, but it is an option if you have been the victim of severe harassment or discrimination. If you do decide to pursue a legal claim, it’s important to understand the laws that protect you. You should also know the process for filing a lawsuit and what to expect.