Contact us for free initial consultation
336-794-6194 800-266-4503
Main Menu

What is a hostile work environment?

Everyone has the right to a safe work environment. And these rights extend beyond the physical environment. They also include an employee's rights against workplace harassment and discrimination.

Persistent harassment, regardless of the type, can create a hostile work environment. However, how do you know if you are working in a hostile workplace? 

Elements of a hostile work environment

There are certain conditions that make up a hostile work environment. These factors include:

  • Consistent harassment against a protected status
  • Severe physical or verbal actions and threats
  • Disruption of daily work performance
  • Damage to the progress of your career

Whether the harassment targets one person or many people, the entire workplace can suffer from such negative behavior.

Sexual harassment in a hostile work environment

Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of harassment in a hostile workplace. For example, if an employee files a sexual harassment complaint, the harassing party could quickly become aggressive at work. 

This kind of hostile workplace harassment often involves:

  • Inappropriate comments or terms
  • Crude remarks about coworkers' physical appearances
  • Unwelcome touching or physical contact
  • Insulting gestures or photographs on display

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission classifies this behavior as illegal employment discrimination. And these factors are reason enough to file discrimination charges against the offending party. 

You should not have to endure this

No employee in North Carolina should have to endure harassment and hostility in their place of work when they have a right to a fair work environment free of discrimination. Understanding the elements of a hostile work environment can help employees protect their rights and stand up to workplace harassment.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information


  • Dear Randy:
    We were all so impressed by your knowledge, thoroughness and presentation. You have done a wonderful job representing my son and we all are grateful for the diligence put forth.
    Mary G. Raleigh, NC
  • I wish it were under different circumstances that we met but at the same time so glad I did. You are awesome. Take care Randy.
    Jessalyn M. King, NC
  • Thank you Randy for everything you did to help us find a resolution.
    Mike C. Kernersville, NC.
  • I recommend the law offices of Randolph M. James. He and his associate kept me informed throughout my case and were very knowledgeable about the facts surrounding my situation. Because of their experience, they were able to guide me to the proper venue where the judiciary was qualified to deal with complex issues such as mine. Thus, we received a favorable outcome. Should I need legal counsel in the future, I would obtain the services of Randolph M. James again.
    Ray K. (Business owner/developer)
Aircraft Owners And Pilots Association Certified Mediator The National Trail Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers Angel Flight West

Winston-Salem Office
116 North Spruce Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Toll Free: 800-266-4503
Phone: 336-794-6194
Fax: 336-724-9722
Map & Directions

Oak Island Office
8821 East Oak Island Drive
Suite 1
Oak Island, NC 28465

Map & Directions

Review Us