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Is your work environment merely negative, or is it hostile?

Most Florida households have one or more members who work full-time outside the home. Perhaps you've been with the same company for a while now or just recently started a new job. Either way, the mood and atmosphere in your workplace no doubt fluctuate. Some days are better than others. If you've had an unpleasant run-in or two with a manager or co-worker, you're definitely not alone in your struggle. However, there's a difference between a bad day at work and a hostile environment.

If you think your job is boring or don't particularly like some of the people you work with, that's a common experience in today's world. If someone is bullying you or harassing you on a regular basis, that's an entirely different matter. How can you tell the difference between a merely unpleasant working environment and a hostile atmosphere?

Unpleasant or unfairness vs. hostility or discrimination

Maybe you have to share a cubicle with another worker, and the two of you don't get along well. It's not uncommon for co-workers or workers and managers to have personality clashes. This, however, doesn't necessarily mean yours is a hostile workplace. Even if you think a boss's decision was unfair or someone is being rude, it doesn't necessarily mean someone is violating your rights or discriminating against you.

If a co-worker or boss is bullying or harassing you, you may be a victim of a hostile work environment or workplace discrimination. If this is happening, it's a good idea to document each incident so you have evidence of all that transpires. 

Reporting a problem

You should not have to go to work every day and wind up feeling upset or threatened because of verbal assaults or harassment from a co-worker or manager. You can immediately address a problem by reporting it to the proper official. If said official is the one exhibiting the harassing or discriminatory behavior, you may need to reach out for additional support.

Stress vs. harassment

Having a bad day or even a bad week or month at work is not all that unusual. If you feel stressed because of your workload or a particularly challenging project, you might benefit from exercise or other stress-release activities. If people are gossiping in the workplace or doing other things that bother you, it's good to simply try to avoid the drama. 

However, if someone's bullying you or discriminating against you, it may understandably impede your ability to carry out the normal course of your duties in the workplace. The law is on your side. You can take steps to report the problem and to make sure the person or people responsible are held accountable.

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