question.jpgIn HR/Employment Law

What is a hostile working environment?

A hostile working environment - while not as easy to define - can just as easily constitute sexual harassment, if the conduct considered harassment is all of the following: Unwelcome, severe, and pervasive in the workplace. A hostile working environment can be as straightforward as a supervisor making sexual advances or asking for sexual favors, or it can be more amorphous, as in the case where a co-worker sends pornographic emails or shares lewd or offensive jokes, out loud, in the workplace. Simple hostility toward one employee or a group of employees because of their gender can also constitute sexual harassment, a situation more common in workplaces where women take over positions formerly occupied by mostly men.