Hostile Work Environment

Hostile Work Environment

shutterstock_118475194We get calls complaining about hostile work environments on a regular basis. Well, the workplace may be hostile but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unlawfully hostile. There’s no requirement under the law for an employer to treat the employees with dignity and respect. If your boss is a raving shouting lunatic, there’s really nothing you can do, unless the raving and the shouting is directed at people who are members of protected classes.

Let’s say the boss is yelling only at people of Hispanic descent and is being really nasty only with them but is treating the other employees well, well that’s not just a hostile work environment; that’s discrimination and that’s actionable. You have to be careful about how you define hostile work environment. By itself, it means nothing. It’s only when you can point to some unlawful behavior, as part of the hostile work environment, that you can take any kind of action.

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