Unit HomeEEOEEO ComplaintsHostile Work Environment
Human Resources and Organizational Management

 

Human Resources and Organizational Management

Headquarters Marine Corps

What Makes a Hostile Work Environment?
What makes a hostile work environment?  What makes a hostile work environment? 

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 based on inclusion in a protected class.

The harasser might be an employee, such as a Supervisor or a coworker, or even a non-employee, i.e. a Contractor. But who the workplace harasser 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.


Samples of a Hostile Work Environment
  • Conduct that interferes with an individual’s work performance, i.e., conduct that makes it hard for you to concentrate and focus on your work, etc.
  • Conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
  • Verbal or physical repeated conduct, i.e., yelling, screaming, slamming fist or items on desks, etc.
  • Conduct that causes an individual to suffer with respect to a term, condition, or privilege of employment, i.e., receiving a Letter of Caution, etc.

 

Hostile Work Environment Laws

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, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, genetics; or it must be caused by retaliation in violation of a discrimination law.

Additionally, the harassment typically must be intentional, severe, recurring, and pervasive, and interfere with an employee's ability to perform his or her job.

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.

 If you believe you are in a hostile work environment, you may contact the Office of Equal
Employment Opportunity at the following locations:


MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO
2004 BARNETT AVENUE
ROOM 123
QUANTICO, VA 22134
(703) 784-2368/2281/2946
HQMC EEO OFFICE PENTAGON
ROOM 2B248A
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1400
(571) 256-8301

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Office

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO
2004 BARNETT AVENUE
ROOM 123
QUANTICO, VA 22134
(703) 784-2368/2281/2946

HQMC EEO OFFICE PENTAGON
ROOM 2A270
WASHINGTON, DC 20301-1400
(571) 256-8301