A hostile work environment is a bit more than just a toxic place. It goes beyond hating your job, having a boss that doesn't listen well, or a colleague that enjoys gossiping a bit too much. Even though these problems can be challenging to deal with, a hostile work environment is much worse.
Hostile workplaces are thriving with discrimination and harassment, so much so that the environment becomes abusive and intimidating due to unwelcome and unlawful conduct.
Employees have legal rights that protect them from this type of behavior. But even so, it's essential to understand what constitutes harassment and workplace hostility.
Sexual conduct includes instances like telling jokes of a sexually-explicit nature, sending nude imagery, watching pornography in the workplace, unwelcome touching, and vulgar remarks. Any categorically sexual behaviors that are persistent and make a person uncomfortable can be considered sexual harassment.
In these situations, employees will need to gather valid evidence and seek the guidance of an experienced employment lawyer in Houston or other areas.
Whether it's passed off as a joke or not, using racial slurs and other insensitive discriminatory remarks in the workplace constitutes workplace hostility. Any offensive jokes that are about protected classes like gender, sexual orientation, and race can be considered discrimination.
Discriminatory slurs and joking are even more of a problem if the behavior is persistent over time.
Age discrimination refers to instances where a professional over 40 is denied opportunities, dismissed, or refused a job due to their age. Age discrimination, like any kind of discrimination, can take many different forms.
Aggression is a red flag pretty much everywhere, but especially in the workplace. If there is aggressive behavior present between employees, whether verbal or physical, the environment is toxic and hostile.
With this, even passive-aggressive behaviors that leave employees feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed are considered aggression in the workplace.
Unhealthy competition might not be reason enough to consult an employment lawyer, although it is a good enough reason to look for a new job elsewhere. If your management teams encourage extreme competition to the point where colleagues attempt to inhibit each other's success, the environment is toxic.
In addition, if supervisors and management engage in behaviors that shame or even bully employees, the environment is even more hostile.
It's understandably daunting to work in a hostile environment where toxic behaviors are hindering your well-being and stunting your growth in your career. As a result, it's vital to rely on an experienced employment lawyer to get through these kinds of situations. An employment lawyer will ensure you see justice for any forms of discrimination and behaviors that infringe on your rights as an employee.
While you are searching for the right attorney, it's wise to gather as much evidence as you can that validates your claims. Your lawyer will then help you build a case while protecting your career as a professional.