A hostile work environment is not what people think it is. It amazes me how misinterpreted, misunderstood, and just downright confusing the phrase “hostile work environment” can be in America’s workplace.
Hostile work environment must be based on membership in protected classification. What does that mean? That means that if you’re being mistreated at work either through harassment or yelling and screaming by your boss or constantly being ignored or constantly being degraded or given more work than everybody else or any one of 1000 different things that can happen to you at work, or you feel like you’re being harassed intimidated coerced or otherwise mistreated, that does not mean automatically that you have a claim under the law of hostile work environment. Unless you can show that the mistreatment, whatever that may be, is based on your membership in one of the protected classifications, it’s not a hostile work environment under the law.
What are those protected classifications? We all know them as age, race, gender, religion, nationality, disability or handicap, HIV status, or marital status. So unless the reason you’re being mistreated is because of your membership in one of those protected classifications, or because you have objected to our refused to participate in the violation of a law, rule, regulation being perpetrated by your employer, you simply have no case.
I know this is difficult to deal with because in the real world when an environment is hostile environment…..by golly, ITS HOSTILE!~ The example I give most of my clients is the following: I walk into work every single day yelling and screaming at my secretary, cursing, dropping F bombs everywhere, throwing things (but not at her) and generally slamming doors and throwing books down on the desk. Well that will generally get the normal person on edge, anxious, worried, or even fearful, BUT it is not a hostile work environment under the law unless she can show, she be my secretary, that I’m doing all this because of her membership in one of those protected classifications.
Sorry guys, but that’s the law.
If you don’t like it, next time vote for the other guy.
That’s all for now.
Read more: employment lawyer Jacksonville.