What Are the Consequences of a Hostile Work Environment?

Employees subjected to a hostile work environment might think they can put up with this kind of treatment, but the consequences can have long-term negative effects.

Employers are responsible for promoting safe, comfortable work environments where their workers will not be intimidated, harassed, discriminated, or abused. Still, many employees face hostile workplaces, and some are too afraid to speak out. The hallmarks of these environments include employee burnout, high incidences of complaints, absenteeism, lack of resources, and poor communication.

The mistreatment can come from supervisors, but this is not always the case. It can be exhibited by coworkers, subordinates, clients, and vendors who work with companies.

What Are Examples of a Hostile Work Environment?

Common examples of a hostile work environment include:

  • Aggressive behaviors: Many companies promote aggressive employee behaviors, like unreasonable pressure to achieve sales goals and yelling at workers.
  • Discrimination: Employees and job applicants can face discrimination based on race, age, gender, religion, and other protected categories. Examples might be promoting an unqualified employee instead of a highly qualified one because the first one is younger.
  • Harassment: Inappropriate remarks about sexual orientation is just one example of workplace harassment. These situations can elevate and pose serious threats to employees’ well-being. Intimidation and threats of punishment for not complying with a co-worker’s demands should be taken seriously.
  • Ridicule: It is not unusual for employees to ridicule or victimize others, and social media allows for this kind of cyberbullying. It is unacceptable to humiliate employees publicly or privately.

A hostile work environment can cause short-term and long-term damage. An employee who deals with this kind of stress at work will likely be unable to perform their daily responsibilities, and as a result, work productivity can deteriorate. This could lead to physical and mental illness, poor reviews, demotions, and terminations.

What Can I Do if I Work in a Hostile Environment?

The first step is to read your company’s employee manual to see if it addresses the situation. If it does, follow the instructions as outlined. Speaking with the abuser directly might defuse the situation, otherwise, you can request a meeting with an HR representative.

It is important to record the instances of mistreatment with as much detail as possible. Write down dates and times, describe what happened, and save evidence like texts, emails, performance reviews, and voicemails. If you are unable to change the situation, it might be best to reach out to an experienced employment lawyer.

South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Employees Who Are in Hostile Work Environments

No employee should have to deal with a hostile work environment. For legal help, contact our South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Complete our online form or call us at 856-235-7075 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve employees throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.