4 Factors That Constitute A Hostile Work Environment

Workplace bullying, discrimination, and harassment are never easy to deal with. Often, employees feel helpless about how to go about the situation. A majority do not reporting said instances for fear of losing their source of livelihood.

But no one deserves to be subjected to such behaviour. As you look for a firm or practice to ask for advice regarding how to file a hostile work environment lawsuit, understand what the grounds are first, for them to be considered in filing the same.

Grounds For Filing A Lawsuit For Hostile Work Environment

  1. Unwelcome Actions, Gestures, Words, Etc.

The first thing to know about hostile actions in the workplace is that they are unwelcomed. The victim is not soliciting them at all. And that they continue even if the victim (and/or other coworkers) urge the perpetrators to stop.

Remember that the workplace is exactly that— a place of work. The dealings that are to occur within your company’s walls should be about the business itself. When unwelcome actions, gestures, and words take place (and you will immediately classify them as such because you will feel a certain degree of personal violation), it may be the beginnings of work hostilities of a graver matter.

  1. Discrimination

Within the context of what civil rights uphold as true, “unlawful discrimination” is defined as a treatment of an unfair nature, whether with regards to age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and religious creed. Discriminating against those who use their allotted medical leaves and workers’ compensation are included here as well.

Workers are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act which states that any act as mentioned above is a direct violation of Title VII of the said CRA.

  1. Persistent Conduct

“Persistent” here refers to both the doer of the deed and the deed itself. This is not to water down a single gesture that is discriminatory and offensive. However, when considering conduct that may or may not be grounds for filing a lawsuit, it should be persistent and recurring.

The court might try to understand the situation by asking questions leading towards whether the acts, gesture, or remark is a stand-alone, or is consistently given by the same person and/or group of people.

In addition to this, are you their sole target? Or do they offer up these remarks to any other employee as well?

  1. Severity

Again, though it is saddening that there is a level of hostile work environment severity that has to be met for lawsuit-filing, this variable is crucial in tipping the scales over to your favour. To push this forward and towards warranting legal concern, the actions or communications of the perpetrator should be severe enough to disrupt your work (and/or that of other employees).

“Disruption” on this occasion equates to negatively affecting how well you perform your work duties, inability to progress in your career (when prior to these behaviours, you were in the running towards career development), or impacting you to the point of making excuses to not show up to work.

Talk to your lawyer now and seek counsel about how you can file for a lawsuit due to a hostile work environment.

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About the Author: John Vick

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