Like most of your neighbors, you must work to support yourself and your family members. Whether you enjoy what you do or merely treat it as a job, you should not be miserable at work. If you are, your workplace may be a hostile environment.
A hostile work environment is a place where you are afraid to be. While many bad behaviors or unsafe working conditions can contribute to a hostile work environment, the following are often clear-cut signs of this type of workplace.
1. You have experienced sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is ongoing or pervasive harassment because of your sex. If a manager or colleague makes unwelcome sexual advances or off-color comments, you may be the victim of sexual harassment at work. The same is true if someone touches you or stares at you inappropriately. If sexual harassment continues, you may suffer long-term psychological harm.
2. You have experienced discriminatory harassment
Discriminatory harassment is similar to sexual harassment in that it involves ongoing and unwelcome harassment. Discriminatory harassment, though, is usually due to your race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability or age. Nevertheless, if someone at your workplace engages in discriminatory harassment, you may not be able to perform your job duties.
3. You have experienced workplace bullying
Bullying does not only happen on schoolyards and playgrounds. Regrettably, your boss, coworkers or others in the workplace may target you with words, actions or physical abuse. If workplace bullying makes you feel unsafe or unwelcome, it may create a hostile work environment. Still, if your physical, emotional or mental safety is on the line, you must act quickly to stop workplace bullying.
Virtually everyone has had an unsavory job at one time or another. Nevertheless, if someone with whom you work engages in workplace bullying, discriminatory harassment or sexual harassment, you may have legal grounds to pursue a hostile work environment claim.