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If you have been denied unemployment you can file an appeal with the unemployment office. They will then conduct an investigation where you can present any evidence of the harassment and hostile work environment you endured.
All sorts of behavior can create what employees deem to be a "hostile work environment". But, in the legal sense, a hostile work environment is caused by unwelcome conduct in the workplace, in the form of discriminatory harassment toward one or more employees.
Other names for a hostile work environment include intimidating work environment, offensive work environment, abusive work environment and hostile workplace.
The harassing workplace bully might be an employee, such as a bad boss or coworker, or even a non-employee, such as a client or independent contractor.
But who the workplace bully is doesn't matter as much in the legal sense, as does the fact that he or she is creating an intimidating, offensive, abusive or hostile work environment through discriminatory workplace harassment.
There are no Federal "hostile work environment laws" or "hostile workplace laws" named as such. Creating a hostile workplace is prohibited under certain Federal discrimination laws (listed below).
Subsequently, to be illegal under one of the laws in the eyes of the courts, a hostile work environment typically must be caused by discriminatory workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or sex. Additionally, the harassment typically must be severe, recurring and pervasive.
Lastly, the victim or witnesses typically must reasonably believe that tolerating the hostile work environment is a condition of continued employment. In other words, the victim or witnesses typically must reasonably believe that they have no choice, but to endure a hostile workplace in order to keep their jobs.
Listed below are the specific Federal discrimination laws under which it's prohibited to create a hostile work environment through discriminatory harassment; but, other discrimination laws might come into play. Also, the state in which you work might have enacted equivalent laws with even better protections.
Whether a victim or witness, you may report a hostile work environment by filing an appropriate discrimination charge directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state equivalent, or with either though an attorney. To file a lawsuit under one of the laws listed above, you must first file a charge with the EEOC or a state equivalent.
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