What is considered a hostile working environment? The reality is that, in any office environment, it is very easy to become a victim of what is considered a hostile working environment. This happens when you are harassed and you are repeatedly denied your right to freely speak or to seek employment in the same company. If you have a family member who is being harassed, that can be considered as well. This is a very sensitive issue and one that every employee should understand before he signs on the dotted line.
What exactly constitutes as “hostile” is often subjective to an employer. However, most will define this as a work environment where one employee is openly harassed by another. This can be done through comments or demeaning behavior. It can also be done by other means such as physical and/or verbal attacks.
The fact of the matter is that what is considered a hostile environment can be very harmful to the well being of any employee. Not only is it a reflection on the company in question, it is also a reflection on the employee. Just being subjected to such treatment for several days at a stretch can cause stress, burnout, and even depression. This is especially so in a time and age where the social media has allowed people to express themselves without fear of repercussions.
You must understand that it is up to you to protect yourself from being placed in a situation where you feel that you are being attacked in some manner. Do not be afraid of asking for assistance in situations where you feel as if what is considered a hostile or intimidating environment has occurred. Do not be afraid to file charges of discrimination or harassment if, and when, you feel that is necessary. A hostile work environment is something that cannot be tolerated by anyone in the United States or anywhere else for that matter.
If you have been the victim of what is considered a hostile environment, you will want to take steps to ensure that the hostile work environment is not allowed to continue. In addition to filing a charge of discrimination or harassment, you will want to ask for a permanent, correct, and binding accommodation. The most common and least expensive form of this is a modified assignment. In this case, the offending employee is asked to complete an assignment with a stipulation that the assignment cannot be changed without first taking the assignment back to its original state.
If what is considered a hostile environment is something you have experienced at work, you will want to do everything possible to make sure that the company you are with is willing to make the needed changes. You should also be careful to make sure that you do not sign any agreements or contracts with an employer until you are sure that the conditions outlined in your employment contract as fair-play guidelines have been met. If you find that this has been happening in your workplace, you may wish to consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Office of Fair and Accident Programs. Oftentimes, an employer will settle with an employee for what is considered a hostile working environment and then make it clear that this is not acceptable when dealing with other employees. However, if you are willing to pursue the matter through the courts, you may be able to obtain greater benefits than if you just simply complain.