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A “hostile work environment” is legally described as the constant misconduct and harassment or bullying based on the race, sex, pregnancy, or social class of workers by their counterparts. This behavior permeates the workspace and distracts the other workers from their tasks.
Have you experienced anything similar to that definition? There is a clear violation of your rights and consulting labor lawyers in Virginia is a wise move. Exercise the tips below to ensure that this behavior is stopped immediately and does not proceed further.
Know Your Employee Rights
It’s crucial to educate yourself regarding the Workplace Code of Conduct and your rights as an employee. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has detailed the following acts as hostile behavior in the workplace – sexual harassment, discrimination based on race, sex, religion, disability, etc., and retaliation to whistleblowing.
Knowing your rights and how you deserve to be treated in the workplace and the company’s employment law allows you to detect hostility. Allowing you to act before things get out of hand.A 'hostile work environment' is legally described as the constant misconduct and harassment or bullying based on the race, sex, pregnancy, or social class of workers by their counterparts. Have you experienced anything similar?Click To Tweet
Address Your Perpetrator Directly
The first step in dealing with a hostile colleague is confronting them and resolving the matter yourself. If you are non-confrontational or conflict-averse, get another colleague to mediate between you and your preparator. A mediator’s job responsibility is to keep the conversation flowing without insults, slurs, or utterances. The mediator’s role is to assist you in resolving.
Keep Records Of The Hostile Acts
Should your colleague’s hostile behavior towards you persist, start recording all the insults, slurs, and acts of harassment you encounter. Should the perpetrator be called for an internal disciplinary hearing, these records may be presented as evidence to strengthen your case.
Report Incidents To HR
Should your attempt to involve a mediator fall through, the next step is to approach your human resources (HR) department. HR is responsible for ensuring that employees’ rights in the workplace are not violated in any way.
HR will follow its due procedures, one of which is a disciplinary hearing for the perpetrator. At the hearing, you may be allowed to present your evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that indeed you have been a victim of workplace hostility.
The company will then proceed to punish the preparation accordingly. Punishment may vary depending on the intensity of the hostility. The company could ask the perpetrator to go on mandatory unpaid leave anger management classes, or they could choose to terminate the perpetrator’s employment.
Join A Workers Union
A workers union or trade union is often the mediator between employees and employers. Usually, the union negotiates employee health and safety conditions at work, salary rates and wages, and retrenchment.
A union is legally required to assist you, as a member, with any matter concerning the workplace. Should the HR department in your company fail to resolve the matter, the union will step in.
Find Allies In The Workplace
It isn’t easy to settle into a workplace environment, especially if you are a newbie or a recently hired graduate. It is common to find a group of employees that have become close in the workplace. You might feel left out as you are new and don’t know anybody.
But it is vital to break the social codes and approach a group with whom you think you are most likely to get along. These allies will come in very handy when the office banter begins.
Plan Your Last Resort
Find a way to deal with the hostility calmly and non-aggressively. You can do certain activities that may take your mind off the workplace. Activities like taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, meditating, or listening to your favorite feel-good music can be your escape.
In the end, managing hostile relationships in the workplace is not an easy task. It can be draining and daunting.