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What exactly constitutes a hostile work environment?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2020 | Employment Law - Employees

If your boss isn’t very good at handling rejection and he lashes out on you verbally every time something goes wrong then you may think that your work in a toxic workplace. You may even wonder if your workplace would meet the legal definition of a hostile work environment. It might.

Most workers can easily point to a particular co-worker or boss as being responsible for making their work environment toxic. That person may use poor communication skills or engage in other types of behaviors that make it difficult for you to perform your job. If you have one of these co-workers in your workplace that has unreasonable expectations or who has changed the rules of engagement so that makes working comfortably impossible, then they may be accused of creating a hostile work environment.

A colleague must engage in some type of discrimination to be held accountable for creating a hostile work environment. This can be noted in their behaviors, communication or actions. It must involve discrimination against someone based on their belonging to a protected class, however.

The employee alleging that they work in a hostile work environment must be able to show that their ill-treatment is pervasive. It must have been recurring over an extended time. An employee must be able to show that they reported the inappropriate treatment but that none of the actions that their employer took were sufficient enough to put an end to it.

An employee must also be able to show that the treatment that they’ve endured has adversely impacted them in some way. They may be able to show that they lost a promotion or that it negatively affected them in some other direct way.

Taking the evidence of ill-treatment and assessing whether some type of impropriety occurred isn’t easy. An employment law- employees attorney can review the details surrounding your case and let you know if what you’ve endured violates either West Virginia or federal laws though. Your lawyer can then advise you of the legal remedies that you may be able to pursue in your Charleston case if some type of illegal activity has occurred.

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