Creating a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment exists when an employee experiences workplace harassment and fears going to work because of the offensive, intimidating, or oppressive atmosphere generated by the harasser. When an employer directly causes or allows others to engage in discriminatory conduct at the workplace, the employee may have a hostile work environment claim.

The hostile work environment must be based on discriminatory conduct such as:
  • Sexual harassment
  • Employment retaliation
  • Disability discrimination
  • Age related harassment
  • Racial harassment
  • This harassment that makes the workplace hostile may be directed at you. The harassment may occur indirectly such as general comments or actions. Indirect hostility must occur with regularity such as to make the workplace environment unbearable.

    The anti-discrimination statutes concerning hostile work environments are not a general civil code. Because of this, federal law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not particularly serious. The conduct must be so offensive as to change the conditions or environment of the person’s employment. The conditions of employment are adverse only if the harassment concludes in a concrete employment action or is sufficiently harsh or persistent to create a hostile work environment. Contact the Law Offices of North Carolina Legal Center at 1-(800)-961-8477, 24 hours a day/7 days a week if you believe your employment has been adversely, unlawfully, or unfairly affected.