Call Our Proven Jury Trial & Business Law Advocates for a Free Consultation 317-843-2606

Hostile work environment claims often involve sexual harassment, but not always.  A workplace may also be hostile based on race, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age or some other form of discrimination. 

How Do You Prove a Work Environment is Hostile?

In order to prove a hostile work environment, an employee must be able to demonstrate that the discrimination is, “severe and pervasive.” 

This has been the standard for in the United States since 1972, when the Supreme Court decided Rogers v EEOC.  “Mere utterance of an ethnic or racial epithet which engenders offensive feelings in an employee would not affect the conditions of employment to a sufficiently significant degree to violate Title VII.” 

Rogers remains the law of the land in the US. However, every case must be examined on its own merits. 

If the conduct is so outrageous, it is possible that just one instance of discrimination could be sufficient to bring a claim and be compensated. 

What Should You Do If You Think You’re a Victim of a Hostile Work Environment?

If you suspect a hostile work environment, it is important to seek out an attorney who practices in the area of employment law to get a consultation and be certain of your rights and responsibilities. 

It also makes a difference where the hostility is coming from.  Is it a co-worker or is it a manager who is discriminating?  If discrimination comes from a co-worker, it must be reported, so the company can take appropriate action against that employee. 

Suppose it is a manager that is creating a hostile work environment. In that case, he is acting on behalf of the employer, and it is more difficult for the company to deny that they knew about the behavior.

How do you know if the behavior is creating a hostile environment?

To determine whether the behavior is creating a hostile work environment the question to ask is, “whether the condition of employment is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.”

If you are still unsure, it’s best to contact a law firm in the state of Indiana about the workplace harassment you’ve experienced. They will be able to help you determine if it constitutes a ‘hostile work environment’.

Goodin Abernathy’s lawyers are well experienced in handling employment discrimination cases. Contact the office today for a free consultation.