by Jamie N. Rotteveel, Esq., Pepper Hamilton LLP, Philadelphia
A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job when the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile or offensive.
The U.S. Department of Labor provides the following examples of behaviors that may contribute to an unlawful hostile environment:
- Discussing sexual activities
- Telling off-color jokes concerning race, sex, disability or other protected bases
- Commenting on physical attributes
- Displaying sexually suggestive or racially insensitive pictures
- Using crude language or demeaning or inappropriate terms or epithets
- Using indecent gestures
- Sabotaging the victim’s work
- Engaging in hostile conduct.
To demonstrate a hostile work environment, a plaintiff must show all of the following:
- He or she suffered intentiona...(register to read more)