A hostile work environment is when either your boss or a coworker is harassing you on an extreme level. If you hope to bring a successful lawsuit, you will need to prove that the harassment was illegal.
Your employer has an obligation under federal law to protect you from unlawful harassment. You have the right to report abuse without facing consequences. If your employer fails to protect you, you could file a lawsuit because of a hostile work environment.
What is evidence of a hostile work environment?
Proof of a hostile work environment includes:
- Having offensive images or photographs on display
- Slurs and mockeries as well as offensive jokes
- Intimidation or insults.
- Threats or either physical or verbal assaults
- Continual interference of an employee’s performance and ratings at work.
If any of this behavior is so constant that you are no longer able to work at your job, a court could determine it to be a hostile work environment. The same goes if a reasonable person considers such an environment to be intimidating or abusive.
What are the effects of workplace harassment?
According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, work abuse can lead to high blood pressure and headaches. You can also experience anxiety and insomnia along with gastrointestinal distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are also symptoms of workplace harassment.
If you want to prove that you are a victim of a hostile work environment, you will need to show that this harassment happened several times. You will also need to prove the abuse was unreasonably offensive and serious.