Worker & Employee Focused

Are You Experiencing A Hostile Work Environment?

It can be difficult to know when conduct crosses the line and becomes harassment or a hostile work environment. Our attorneys at Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly, PC, can help you identify Illegal behavior and help you know what steps you can take to protect your rights and work to stop bad behavior. We provide the experienced guidance you need with these challenging questions at work.

Is It Illegal For An Employer To Bully An Employee?

Unfortunately, there is no general anti-bullying law that applies to workplace situations. This means that it is usually not a violation of any workplace law if a coworker, supervisor or employer engages in conduct, even if it is intentional and undeserved, that is hostile, overly critical, mean, unfair or even humiliating to the employee.

What Is A Hostile Work Environment?

If the coworker, supervisor or employer is subjecting the employee to such treatment because of the employee’s race, religion, gender, disability status, national origin, sexual orientation, age or other protected status, and the conduct rises to the level of a “hostile work environment,” then it may be a violation of the anti-discrimination laws.  To amount to a hostile working environment, the treatment must be “severe” in the eyes of the law.

The conduct described on our What is Sexual Harassment page can amount to a hostile working environment based on sex. A hostile work environment based on race can include derogatory terms for a race, racist jokes, and stereotyped or racially hostile images. Similar behavior based on religion, disability, sexual orientation or other protected status can also create a hostile work environment.

If you believe you are being subjected to a hostile environment, you should take notes and keep records of the treatment so that you can remember specific instances and events.  If you believe you are being subjected to a hostile work environment because of such protected status, you should talk to an experienced labor and employment attorney.

Are Employers Allowed To Ask About Arrests, Criminal Charges Or Convictions?

As of Jan. 1, 2017, employers in Connecticut (including the state) are prohibited from asking about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an employment application, unless the employer is required to do so by a state or federal law applicable to that job, or if the position the applicant is seeking requires security or a bond.

Contact Us For A Free Initial Phone Consultation

If you have more questions about the conditions you experience in your workplace, call our Hartford office at 860-454-9608 or use our convenient online contact form to make an appointment to discuss your situation with a free phone consultation.