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How a hostile work environment is created

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2014 | Hostile Work Environment

If anyone in Florida believes that they are being forced to work in a hostile work environment, they need to know what rights employees have in a situation like this. However, understanding their rights begins with understanding how a hostile workplace is created in the first place.

The fact of the matter is that legal parameters have been set. It is important for workers to know that simple things that aggravate them, such as a coworker who is typically rude or a boss who is annoying, may not legally constitute a hostile workplace. They must know the difference between these things and actions that go too far.

For one thing, the actions need to be bad enough that they inhibit what an employee is able to do. They may even make it impossible for that employee to fulfill all of his or her duties at work.

Another way that a workplace can turn hostile is when discrimination comes into the picture. Any sort of discrimination falls under the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is commonly known as the EEOC. This body has existed for decades, having been set up initially by the Civil Rights Act that went through in 1964.

Finally, a workplace could be considered legally hostile if there is evidence of sexual harassment. If someone who works at the company tends to make sexually explicit comments to another employee – or even if they just tell certain jokes that are sexually explicit – it could constitute harassment. This could also be brought up if they distribute sexual content in any fashion, such as using their phone’s text messaging system to give out explicit photos without permission.

Source: About.com Human Resources, “What Makes a Work Environment Hostile?” Susan M. Heathfield, Aug. 07, 2014