Hostile Work Environment

Definition

A hostile work environment is a workplace in which there are instances of harassment and discrimination against characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex and pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

The hostile work environment definition refers to the legality and well-being of the workplace. This type of unwelcome conduct is potentially illegal when it’s severe enough to result in a hostile work environment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicates that “petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious)” are not considered illegal meaning an employee might be able to file a successful lawsuit if they face discriminatory conduct on a regular basis but they might not be able to win a legal battle regarding a single off-hand insult.