What is considered a hostile work environment?

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What is considered a hostile work environment?

I feel I work in a hostile environment as management is constantly saying they will write-up or fire you for mistakes. Management also talks about other employees to other employees in the office along with the other managers. Therefore the other managers pretend you don’t exist anymore. Is there an harassment law in the work place?

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To be considered a "hostile", your workplace must be one that prevents you from doing your job in a reasonable manner. A co-worker (including a superior), either by words and/or actions, must create an environment that is counterproductive to your performing your work duties.

That having been said, these behaviors typically must be "discriminatory" in nature and are not just a result of rude or unprofessional behavior.

Note:  Workplace discrimination is action taken against an employee because they are a member of a "protected class"; in other words unfavorable treatment based an employee's race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, etc.

Based on the limited facts presented, it's not at all clear that you have an actionable claim. You gave no details as to your co-worker's specificbehavior. Accordingly, at this point you may want to consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area or with your state's department of labor.


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