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How to deal with hostile environment

A hostile work environment is created by a boss or coworker whose actions, communication or behavior make doing your job impossible.

Some say believe that a bad boss, an unpleasant work environment, a rude coworker, failure to qualify for a promotion, or the lack of perks can create a hostile work. 

However in reality for a workplace to be hostile, certain legal criteria must be met.

A coworker who talks loudly, snaps his/her gum, and leans over your desk when s/he talks with you, is demonstrating inappropriate, rude, obnoxious behavior, but it does not create a hostile work environment.

On the other hand, a coworker who tells sexually explicit jokes and sends around images of nude people is guilty of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Even if people say something casually that is hostile it is an inappropriate behaviour. 

The first step in addressing inappropriate behavior at work—ask the inappropriately behaving boss or coworker to stop.

The legal requirements for a hostile work environment include 

* The actions or behavior must discriminate against a protected classification such as age, religion, disability, or race.

* The behavior or communication must be pervasive, lasting over time, and not limited to an off-color remark or two that a coworker found annoying.

* The problem becomes significant and pervasive if it is all around a worker, continues over time, and is not investigated and addressed effectively enough by the organization to make the behavior stop.

* It is reasonable to assume that the employer knew about the actions or behavior and did not sufficiently intervene. Consequently, the employer can be liable for the creation of a hostile work environment.

If an employee finds it difficult to stop the behaviour on their own, they should solicit help from a manager or human resources. 

When inappropriate behavior complaintis coming from another employee, they are your best in-house resources. They also serve as your witness to the fact that you asked the offending employee to stop the behavior.
Employees rarely need to address the behavior on their own. When the behavior is not widely viewed or if it happens only in secret without witnesses, you must bring the hostile behavior to your employer's attention.

Plus, you may find yourself surprised about how vigilantly your employer acts to prevent current and future incidents that may contribute to a hostile work environment. Many, many employers regard harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment as actions that are deserving of employment termination following a confirming investigation. Give your employer a chance to do what's right.