Hostile Work Environment or Silly Behavior?
Hostile Work Environment is actionable when behavior creates an environment that's difficult for another person to work in. Read this to find out if you may have a claim.
When is there a Claim for Hostile Work Environment?There's no independent claim for HWE. Only when the claim is based on STATUS in a protected class (race, gender, national origin, color, religion, pregnancy, age, disability) can a claim of HWE be made. It goes hand in hand with a discrimination claim.
Conduct Must Be Sufficiently Severe and PervasiveA few single or isolated incidences of hostile behavior are generally not enough (although one incident of tea-bagging another employee was held to be enough). If and when hostile behavior happens to you, document what happened, when it took place and who else witnessed it. Confront the offender, and if it continues, follow the reporting guidelines in the handbook to escalate it to management.