Many workers have found themselves in the troubling scenario of being stuck in a job with a toxic work environment. Over the past year, those same workers may find that this scenario has been made worse by the challenging current job market. This current period is a difficult time to look for new positions with so many industries in turmoil. The number of workers who have lost their jobs due to business closures and struggling companies may find that the influx of more unemployed workers means greater competition for the few jobs available.
The parameters of harassment
Workers must know what marks a hostile work environment as compared with a discriminatory situation. Harassment is considered a type of employment discrimination under certain circumstances. This treatment may be any unwelcome conduct enacted because of a person’s race, skin color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. The following two criteria can make a case of harassment unlawful:
Employment: Harassment becomes an unlawful act when enduring this offensive conduct becomes necessary for your continued employment.
Hostility: The conduct has to be severe enough to make a working environment that a hypothetical ‘reasonable’ person would consider abusive, hostile or intimidating.
Understanding how retaliation works
Retaliation could come in the form of harassment. This is covered under anti-discrimination laws to keep those workers who file discrimination charges against an employer, oppose employment practices that discriminate against individuals as defined in anti-discrimination laws and participate in a lawsuit related to discriminatory practices.
Protecting your right to a safe workplace
Workers shouldn’t have to endure harassment and discrimination. If you’re suffering in a toxic work environment, you need to explore your options to protect yourself and your job.