What counts as a Hostile Working Environment?

Hostile work environment harassment refers to an unstable or dangerous workplace created when an employee suffers repeated workplace harassment. The harassing conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s work performance or creates what a reasonable person would find an objectively hostile or offensive work environment.

If the conduct adversely affects the performance or well-being of the targeted employee, or any reasonable person in the workplace, the conduct may be illegal.

  • The harassment may not directly result in discipline or lost opportunities but does make it difficult for the victim to work because of constant ridicule, belittling comments, teasing or sexual come-ons.
  • The harassment becomes so debilitating that the victim fears going to work because of the oppressive, hostile or intimidating atmosphere created by the aggressors.
  • It may reach the point where the victim is suffering psychologically and manifests stress related physical problems.