Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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You don't need to put up with a hostile work environment

Many people work jobs that they don't like or don't feel comfortable with. The reality is that not everyone is going to get along with everyone else in the workplace. Some people may be better suited to a busy work environment or to a quiet work area than others.

What people don't need to put up with is a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is not just an environment that is unpleasant to work in. There are specific legal requirements that have to be met if you want to make a claim for dealing with a hostile environment on the job.

What makes a hostile work environment?

A hostile work environment, legally speaking, is one in which a coworker or boss's actions, behaviors or communication techniques make doing your job impossible. The actions or behaviors must also be discriminatory, based on the legal guidelines provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Here's an example of a hostile work environment. If Susan goes to work and finds out that a coworker she dated has been sending nude images of her to others in the office, that would create an unpleasant situation and could create a hostile environment.

Here's an example of what a hostile work environment is not. If a manager gets mad at an employee and tells them that they need to do better work because they're holding others back, the employee might be angry. However, the scolding is not discriminatory if they are necessary to helping correct the workers' errors.

What can you do if you think you're in a hostile work environment?

If you think your workplace has a hostile environment, you can speak up. Talk to your employer or tell the individual who is making you uncomfortable that you'd like them to stop. Discrimination, hostility and other behaviors can all make a worker feel unwelcome and make their job difficult to perform.

If the behaviors that are bothering you don't stop after you ask others to address them, then you may want to consider looking into your legal options. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does take workplace harassment and hostile environment cases seriously, and there are plenty of ways that you can get help. Your attorney will help you put together a case, so you can show that you did try to address your concerns but were given no choice but to move forward with a claim.

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