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What is a hostile work environment?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2022 | Employment Law |

No one deserves to work in an uncomfortable or unsafe work environment. If you are being harassed at work in North Carolina, your workplace may qualify as a hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, successfully proving a hostile environment claim requires more than just showing the court an inappropriate text message from a coworker. You will need to establish several elements to prove your claim including.

Offensive and unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic

You will need to show that you were subjected to unwelcome conduct that was based on one or more of your protected characteristics under Title VII (e.g., race, gender, or religion). There are many forms of conduct that may be considered, including slurs, jokes, offensive statements or physical conduct.

Severe and pervasive

A one-time insult or uncomfortable moment is generally not enough to prove a hostile work environment. You will need to show that the conduct above was sufficient to cause an environment that both you and a reasonable person would find abusive or hostile.

Employer liability

You will also have to show that your employer was responsible for the harassment you experienced. Employers will generally be liable if they knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take appropriate steps to end the harassment.

Employees who deal with harassment in the workplace may have their employee rights violated daily. An attorney specializing in employment law can help determine whether the harassment you are dealing with is unlawful and help you decide what to do next.