Is My Workplace a Hostile Work Environment?

dupage county sexual harassment lawyerFederal law defines a hostile work environment as one in which behavior is severe or pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would find to be hostile. Anything from constantly being asked on a date to unwanted physical contact may lead to a hostile work environment.

Sexual harassment is something no one should tolerate. This blog will explain some common manifestations of hostile work environment harassment and what you can do if you believe you have been a victim.

Examples of Hostile Work Environment Harassment

There are a few things to consider when determining whether or not your workplace is a hostile work environment. The first is whether the behavior in question is unwelcome. If you have made it clear to the person engaging in the behavior that it is unwelcome, and they continue to do it anyway, that is a good indicator that the environment may be hostile.

Sexual harassment often involves:

  • Use of offensive, sexist, or inappropriate language
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Making demeaning or offensive comments about someone’s appearance
  • Employees discussing their sex lives at work
  • Displaying explicit photographs or videos at work

These are just a few examples of behavior that may create a hostile work environment. If you have experienced any of these things, or if you have been subjected to other harassing or discriminating behavior, do not be afraid to take action. 

What to Do If You Believe You Are Experiencing Hostile Work Environment Harassment

If you believe you are the victim of hostile work environment harassment, there are a few important steps you should take. First, try to talk to the person who is harassing you. Let them know that their behavior is unwelcome and make it clear that you want it to stop. If the person does not stop after you have asked them to, or if you do not feel comfortable talking to the person directly, you can report the behavior to your supervisor or the HR department. You should do that via e-mail. Next, document the behavior. Keep track of when it happens, who is doing it, and what, if any, steps were taken to prevent further harassment. This will be important if you decide to take legal action. Finally, consult with an experienced hostile work environment attorney to discuss your options and decide what course of action is best for you.

Contact our Wheaton Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Harassing behavior in the workplace is never acceptable. If you believe you are a victim of hostile work environment harassment, call MKFM Law for help. Our DuPage County sexual harassment attorneys can advise you on the next steps. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.


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