When you join a workplace, you never know how the environment is. Often employees are afraid about how their working environment will be. Workplace harassment has always been a cause of concern in the country. Therefore, it is essential to understand what a hostile environment is and what to do if you suspect your working environment is hostile.
You can also speak to an employment lawyer Connecticut to know your legal rights and take action against your employer.
What constitutes a ‘hostile environment’ legally?
Even if you believe that your working environment is hostile, certain conditions should be met to constitute a hostile environment according to the law. Below are a few legal factors.
If you are pursuing a legal claim, a working environment is considered hostile when there is discrimination against the protected classes. Some of these include discrimination against people of age, religion, race, or disability.
The behavior should be pervasive.
If you notice your employer made a remark once, even if they are discriminatory in nature, it does not constitute a hostile working environment. Instead, the behavior should be ongoing. Every time you see your employer discriminating against you, report it to the Human resources department or the needed authority. In case the behavior is repeated, you will have documented evidence of the previous reports you have made against the employer.
Your employer refuses to take action against the harassment.
It is essential to report every incident to the human resource department and your employer. Your employer should take action to stop the ongoing harassment. However, if they refuse to take any action, it creates a hostile working environment. Furthermore, if your employer was aware of the harassment but still did not take any action, it also comes under harassment.
The harassment makes it impossible to work.
To file a claim for a hostile working environment, the harassment must make the employer impossible to continue their work. For instance, you are working with the other department, and their constant harassment behavior makes it impossible for you to continue to work with them.
Contact an employment lawyer.
If you believe that you are a victim of a hostile working environment, you are allowed to take legal action against your employer or your colleagues. You should speak to an employment lawyer in Connecticut to know how to file a legal claim and protect your rights.