When you go to work, you have the right to do your job without fear of interference from others or certain types of mistreatment. When your co-workers, managers, third parties and others exhibit problematic behavior, it can lead to the development of a hostile work environment. Over time, you can experience mental distress, emotional trauma and other negative impacts. Thankfully, you do not have to suffer in silence.
Workers who experience inappropriate behavior in the workplace could be victims of different types of harassment or discrimination. If you believe you are a victim, you may benefit from an explanation of the options available to you, which may include filing a claim. You do not have to endure bad behavior and its effects, but instead, you can take steps to hold the responsible parties accountable.
What are you experiencing in the workplace?
Bad behavior in the workplace can take many different forms. You may assume that what you are going through is simply an inconvenience or something you have to endure in silence, but that is not the case. The following are common types of bad behavior employees may experience from others while at work:
- Discrimination — It is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of his or her gender, ethnicity, disability, age and other factors. This includes unfavorable treatment or verbal harassment.
- Sexual misconduct — It is harassment to subject someone to physical contact or verbal harassment of a sexual nature. This may include lewd jokes, making rude gestures, touching or doing anything to make the other person uncomfortable.
- Bullying — Someone should not harass you, make you feel unsafe, threaten you or cause you fear and anxiety when at work. Bullying can be verbal or physical, or it can happen in more subtle ways.
If you suspect that you are a victim of illegal treatment at your place of work, you have the right to seek an evaluation of your situation and understanding of the options available to you.
Putting an end to the mistreatment
If you are experiencing mistreatment at work, you could have grounds for a legal claim. You will benefit from knowing whether your experience counts as discrimination or harassment. If it does, you may take steps to hold your West Virginia employer accountable for the development of a hostile work environment. You may be able to secure compensation, seek justice and ensure that the inappropriate behavior stops.