What is considered a hostile work environment?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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