A hostile work environment is created by the boss or a co-worker whose communication, action and behavior is trouble for you at work. Most people think that having no incentives, perks of the job, not getting a promotion and many other similar things are a part of the hostile work environment. It’s true that many of these issues contribute to an uncomfortable and unfriendly environment between co-workers. But from the legal point of view, the criteria is different.
The behavior and actions of your boss or co-workers at work must contain a discriminatory element in its nature. Such discrimination is monitored and guided by EEOC ( Equal Employee Opportunity Commision ), created by the Civil Rights the Act of 1964.
So, if a co-worker talks loudly to you and leans over your desk while talking, then he or she is demonstrating rudeness. On the contrary, if your co-worker or boss tells you an explicit sexual joke and is harassing you sexually then this creates a hostile workplace.
If someone at work exploits you about your age, gender, religion, and race then this is a part of the hostile workplace.
How To File A Complaint?
There are certain conditions given by the Federal Law in which you are eligible to file a complaint against hostile workplace like;
- National origin
- Genetic information
- Sexual harassment
If you are facing hostile work environment under a condition that is not mentioned by the Federal Law, then you can consult your state’s Labor Commission.
- You can start the process of filing a complaint with a phone call. 1-800-669-4000 is the number you need to ring on and provide the information regarding your case. Remember, the complaint has to file within the 180 days of the incident.
- The local EEOC office would collect your information, and they would set up an appointment day. Filing a complaint in person is the best option for you. On the appointment day, you need to bring important documents with you like performance certificates and recorded statements from your co-workers.
- The EEOC office in your locality will take your statement on the incident and ask few relevant questions regarding your role and the incident. Before leaving the EEOC office, you will receive your charge of discrimination act along with a charge number. If you can’t file a complaint in person, then you can use the mailing option with the same procedure.
- After you have filed a complaint in the EEOC, EEOC will look into the situation that whether it has the jurisdiction and if the charge meets the given criteria or not.
- Not only rudely, even if the comments about your gender, age, race or for anything, that is important for you, is said with a smile and you feel offended is also a part of the hostile workplace.
- EEOC guidelines would also help you in dealing with such situations in a hostile work environment. Filing a complaint for hostile workplace would help you in getting a better help in such incidents.