Employment Discrimination Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

How to Know if You Are in a Hostile Work Environment

Whenever you work with others, there’s always a chance that you may not get along. However, despite feeling like a toxic work environment, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are in a hostile work situation. There is a difference between working in an environment that you don’t enjoy and working in an environment that is considered legally hostile. So what makes a work environment hostile under the law?

Laws and Regulations that are Protected in the Workplace

When it comes to the law, a place of employment is only considered hostile if an employer violates a law or regulation. Some examples include:

  • Gender discrimination
  • Violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Work discrimination

Things that do not by themselves constitute a hostile work environment under the law include the following circumstances:

  • Your boss/coworker is mean to you
  • You don’t get along with your boss/coworker
  • It feels tense in your place of work
  • A Legal Definition of “Hostile”

    While many people throw around the word hostile, it is not the same thing as the legal definition. In order for you to be in a legally hostile work environment, your rights must be violated. However, sometimes your rights may be violated in a manner that is so subtle in nature that you fail to recognize what that it is happening at all.

    For instance, to rise to the level of sexual harassment it doesn’t require that your coworker grope you. It could be something as simple as your coworker making inappropriate comments in order to be considered sexual harassment and therefore constitute a hostile work environment under the law.

    If you believe that any of your legal rights in the workplace have been violated, it’s extremely important that those at fault be held liable. You should never have to be subjected to a hostile work environment. When you want to bring a claim against your employer you should first consult with a qualified employment attorney. This is especially important as making even minor technical errors when filing a claim can prevent you from being able to recover. By hiring the right attorney you can ensure that your rights are protected.

    The GA Employment Law Attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC Can Help

    When you have been subject to a hostile work environment it’s important that you understand your rights and what you are entitled to. You may be unsure as to whether or not your situation rises to the level of a hostile work environment under the law. Fortunately, the attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC can help you to figure out whether your rights have been violated and can hold your employer and those responsible for such treatment accountable. At Pankey & Horlock, LLC, our attorneys understand the importance of such cases and are here to help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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