hostile work environment
Working conditions that are created when unwelcome, discriminatory conduct that is so severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of a victim's employment and creates an abusive working environment. Employers can be liable when their employees are subjected to a hostile work environment—for example, when a female employee is subject to repeated sex-based taunting or slurs by her male co-workers.
Category: Employment Law & HR

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

hostile work environment
USA
One form of harassment that is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and state law equivalents. Hostile work environment claims arise when an employee alleges that the workplace is characterized by harassment that is:
• Unwelcome.
• Because of protected class status.
• Attributable to the employer.
• Severe or pervasive enough to change the conditions of employment and create an abusive environment, judged by both:
o an objective standard (that is, any reasonable person would find the conduct abusive); and
o a subjective standard (that is, the employee in question found the conduct abusive).

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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