The workplace shouldn’t be a place where workers have to deal with more stress than what is actually required for the job. Sadly, some employees are having to deal with hostile workplaces. This can make it hard for people to go to work each day.
There are times when a hostile workplace can have negative impacts on the workers. When the hostility is due to something illegal, employees might choose to take action. Here are some points to know about a hostile work space:
Harassment is never acceptable
No harassment at work is ever acceptable; however, if people are being harassed due to their age, religion, race, gender or specific other statuses, there is a good chance that the actions are illegal. Employers have a duty to make sure that harassment and discrimination aren’t present in the workplace. This includes patrons of the business, as well as vendors and employees.
Hostility can start at an interview and continue
Hostility in the workplace can start as early as the interview process, even if the prospective employee doesn’t realize it. Employers are limited as to what questions they are allowed to ask during the interview process. Asking questions about a person’s marital status, for example, is illegal. There is a chance for discriminatory behavior and hostility when the interviewer is asking illegal questions.
Retaliation for making complaints is illegal
Many workers who are being subjected to a hostile work environment won’t speak up about the issue because they are worried about retaliation; however, retaliation is illegal. Employers aren’t allowed to take negative employment actions, such as failing to hire someone or deciding to fire someone, because that person spoke up about illegal behaviors in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that employers will always avoid retaliation, but it does give workers a legal basis for taking action if it does occur.
Businesses of all sizes can be hostile workplaces
Some people think of employment law claims for a hostile workplace as being something that only impacts large businesses, such as national and international companies. The fact is that a business of any size, as long as it has at least one employee, can be at the center of these complaints. Employees who have to deal with this type of environment at work should explore their legal options so they can take action to rectify the situation.