Hostile Work Environment Survival

Survival in a Hostile Work Environment


The HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT is at almost all work places and most people just endure the harassment and intimidation that management allow the employees to be subjected. So why are the employees not putting up a fuss or demanding something to be changed?

Why stay at a job when the environment is so hostile that it causes high blood pressure, jitters, nervous reactions, mental complexities and sickness to occur?

The work place has been determined by law to be a safe place to work, free from hostility, racial remarks, intimidation and sexual remarks that are not wanted. So why is this still happening?

Because of your sex, gender, your beliefs, your religious affiliation, being fat, being ugly or political view does not give others the right to harass or be hostile to you.



Are you being whistled at or touched by other employees? Are there crude and rude jokes being told that you can hear? Are there songs being played that are offensive to you? Are there managers making fun of you because of you being overweight. . Are you being yelled at by co-workers or managers? These and more could be considered part of a hostile work environment under certain conditions.

When certain events happen with employees or managers, does the other managers try to cover the tracks? Does corporate get involved for damage control?

Are you being treated differently or targeted because of your gender, sex, national origin, religion, religious beliefs, background, heritage, medical problems or age? If so, there may be some concern for further investigation by your lawyer.




What is a person to do if they are or believe that they are in a hostile work environment?

The first thing that the person should do, according to research is to tell the supervisors, managers and Human Resource Division. If you ever have worked at a place where there is a hostile condition, it has been going on for some time and will not go away any time soon. The management will try to cover up the problems because they have permitted the harassment and hostile work environment to continue and are part of the problem. Unless you have a very good lawyer, excellent documentation and lots of money, it would be wise to find another job without the problems. In other words, move on !

The jobs with the problems will have the problems until they replace the management and staff because they are the ones that permit the environment and harassment to continue.

If, by any chance that the hostile environment can be challenged, a good lawyer, loads of documentation and other employees could be part of a good case. Sometimes the mental load and damage that a hostile work environment causes could only be satisfied by a court case.


There was some research done with rats being fed in tunnels. The researchers put in seven tubes to act as tunnels and food was placed in only one tunnel each feeding. The same tube was used for the feeding day after day. After some time, the researchers started putting the food in another tube. After the rats found out that there was no more food in the tunnel that previously had food, the rats ventured into the other tubes in search for food.

The same is not for people. When the hostile conditions develop, the people stay at the same tunnel, even when the food is cut, money is reduced, medical slashed and are forced into hard labor. The rats seem to have better adaptability and reasoning.

When there are nude pictures, rude drawings, off-color jokes or racial remarks at the work place there is a cause of concern of the environment being labeled a hostile work environment to others working there.

So if there are people that work there that are offended, the supervisors, managers or management should discuss the offending material with the employees. The offending material should be removed and documented as to the offense, the type of material, who posted the materials or said the offending remarks and the dates that the offenses took place.

The freedom of the press and speech goes only so far in today's workplace. Offensive language, off color jokes, nudity and profanity in the work place can be seen as hostile. The employees that see the material or have to hear the jokes would normally not have to hear or see the material if they were not at work, so they are forced to hear and see the profanities, pictures or slang language which are targeted select.

Supervisors, managers and staff should learn the tell-tell signs for a hostile work environment and harassment. More and more companies are being held responsible for shootings, bullying, hazing and mental problems resulting from hostilities at the work place.

As fast as a problem is found, the person finding the offensive or intrusive obstacle should present it to the management as soon as possible. Meeting should be held promptly to let everyone know that any type of makings of a hostile work environment should not and will not be tolerated. The employees should be trained what activities, actions and media would constitute as hostile and offensive.

Would you consider your boss yelling at you as a hostile work environment?

  • YES
  • NO
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Would you consider music, being played in your earshot, with cussing, swearing and 4-letter words offensive and would be considered a hostile work environment?

  • yes
  • no
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Would you consider having (requirement) to work 10 and 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, a hostile work environment?

  • yes
  • no
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Would you consider racial jokes targeted to a certain race part of a hostile work environment?

  • yes
  • no
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Would you consider having no breaks in eight hours a hostile work environment?

  • yes
  • no
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Would you consider having fat jokes targeted to overweight people a hostile work environment to those people?

  • yes
  • no
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Would it be better to stay, fight with a lawyer or to move on when dealing with a hostile work environment?

  • Just grin and bear it-stay without fighting
  • Get the best lawyer and fight to the end
  • Get out now
  • Get out when you can get another job, but ASAP!
  • Report the matter to supervisors, managers or staff
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