While you may strive for a perfectly civil workplace, that’s not realistic. Wherever different personalities are present, some tension is inevitable.
Workers who are more sensitive than others can’t sue, alleging a hostile work environment, unless conditions are truly terrible. They simply have to tolerate the occasional unkind comment and other ordinary workplace annoyances.
Recent case: Curtis, who is black, was twice passed over for a promotion. He complained about race discrimination and then claimed that his work environment became hostile. As examples, he pointed to an incident in which his boss grabbed a fax out of his hands, exclaiming, “Well, let me read the damn thing,” and an increasing workload.
The court said that simply wasn’t enough for a lawsuit. (Hiner v. McHugh, No. 12-51123, 5th Cir., 2013)