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Hostile Work Environments and Your Rights

Chances are, you have heard about a “hostile work environment”; however, do you really understand what this means? Some believe this only refers to a mean boss. But your boss will not just create a hostile work environment by yelling often or being angry all the time. If the boss is mean to everyone, it is likely not a hostile environment from which the law will protect you.

A hostile work environment becomes unlawful when your employer targets you because of a protected category such as your gender or race, and the harassment is so bad that it changes your job. According to the EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – hostile work environments exist when an employer or co-workers engage in some type of retaliatory or discriminatory conduct that is pervasive or severe enough to impact the conditions of a worker’s employment, and to create what is called an “abusive working relationship.” The conduct experienced by workers must be considered objectively abusive. This means that the average person would understand that the bad conduct has changed the employee’s work environment.

Hiring an attorney to help with a hostile work environment is highly recommended. Likely, you have already complained to your employer about the actions your supervisor or co-workers are taking against you, and nothing has changed. Thus, you need to speak to an attorney to stop the harassment.

What Must be Considered to File a Claim Related to Harassment or Abuse in the Workplace?

Do you know what the courts and the EEOC considers when an employee files a harassment claim? The courts and the EEOC will consider the following circumstances to determine if the work environment is unlawfully hostile:

  • If the conduct was physical and/or verbal.
  • If the conduct was offensive to you personally or a group of people.
  • If the harassment persisted after you discussed with your supervisor, manager, or the person at-fault.
  • If you complained about the situation to management or a supervisor.
  • If others joined in on the harassment that took place.
  • If the perpetrator was a manager, supervisor, or co-worker.

Also, courts and the EEOC must determine if the harassment occurred based on some legally-protected characteristic, including disability, sexual orientation, sex, age, ethnicity, religion, race, or on the basis of some legally protected action or conduct, such as whistleblowing or opposing some other unethical or illegal conduct.

Hiring an Attorney to Help with Hostile Work Environment Situations

If you are in a situation where you believe you are the victim of a hostile work environment, it is time to seek the help and counsel of an employee rights attorney. An attorney will discuss your options and what filing a case may do. Remember, cases involving hostile work environments are often complex, so you need to be prepared for what will happen by hiring an experienced employee rights attorney. Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group today.