Hostile Work Environment

Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Anyone in the workplace might commit this type of harassment – a management official, co-worker, or non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or guest. The victim can be anyone affected by the conduct, not just the individual at whom the offensive conduct is directed.

Examples of actions that may create sexual hostile environment harassment include:

  • Leering, i.e., staring in a sexually suggestive manner
  • Making offensive remarks about looks, clothing, body parts
  • Touching in a way that may make an employee feel uncomfortable, such as patting, pinching or intentional brushing against another’s body
  • Telling sexual or lewd jokes, hanging sexual posters, making sexual gestures, etc.
  • Sending, forwarding or soliciting sexually suggestive letters, notes, emails, or images

Other actions which may result in hostile environment harassment, but are non-sexual in nature, include:

  • Use of racially derogatory words, phrases, epithets
  • Demonstrations of a racial or ethnic nature such as a use of gestures, pictures or drawings which would offend a particular racial or ethnic group
  • Comments about an individual’s skin color or other racial/ethnic characteristics
  • Making disparaging remarks about an individual’s gender that are not sexual in nature (including gender identify and sexual orientation)
  • Negative comments about an employee’s religious beliefs (or lack of religious beliefs)
  • Expressing negative stereotypes regarding an employee’s birthplace or ancestry
  • Negative comments regarding an employee’s age when referring to employees 40 and over
  • Derogatory or intimidating references to an employee’s mental or physical impairment

For more information on Hostile Work Environment, contact your New York City employment lawyer or visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Call For A Free Consultation (614) 610-4134