Every employee has the right to do his or her job in an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and other types of unacceptable behavior. When workers experience these things while on the job, it is possible they are in a hostile work environment. Employees do not have to suffer through these conditions alone, but they can take steps that allow them to hold employers accountable and seek justice.
What counts as a hostile work environment?
Annoying or rude behavior from employers or co-workers may be inconvenient and unpleasant, but this does not necessarily mean the aggrieved party has grounds to pursue a lawsuit. Consider the following about hostile work environments:
- The behaviors or actions experienced in the workplace must be discriminatory in nature.
- When an employee experiences sexually explicit comments or jokes or sexual harassment, that counts as a hostile work environment.
- It qualifies as a hostile work environment if a boss or supervisor berates an employee, is verbally abusive, makes threats or acts in a discriminatory nature.
A hostile work environment can take a mental and emotional toll on a North Carolina employee. If a worker experiences discrimination or harassment of any kind, he or she may have grounds to pursue a civil claim.
The right way forward
A victim of a hostile work environment does not have to stay silent. He or she may have grounds to pursue legal action through a civil claim against the employer or other responsible parties. An assessment of the specific situation can help a victim understand the specific legal options that may be available to him or her.