How do you know if your workplace is hostile?

We all have basic rights when we go to work. Everyone should expect their workplace to be safe and free of harassment. If you are enduring those things, you could have a hostile workplace.

Your employer has legal requirements. Under some circumstances, you might be able to take legal action. It is important to understand what makes a hostile workplace and the laws that protect you.

What makes a workplace hostile?

You might be able to file a complaint if you are being bullied, getting unwelcome comments or actions based on your protected characteristics.

They protect you if you feel threatened or feel as if you are being intimidated. They also cannot make offensive comments towards you at work. Your clients, contractors, co-workers, managers, supervisors and vendors cannot harass you.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws that protect you against a hostile workplace. You might be able to file a claim if the harassment impacts your work, or it affects your salary or work status).

You might also be able to file if you are being abused, harassed or intimidated at work. The EEOC protects you at work if you have certain characteristics

You are protected if the harassment was based on your:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Your company cannot deny reasonable, needed workplace accommodations

If you need reasonable accommodations to practice your religion or if you have a disability. They cannot retaliate against you if you complain about job discrimination or if you participated in a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

You should allow the EEOC six months to resolve your case. If you think the agency is not taking the necessary actions, there might be other legal options.