Protecting Yourself in a Hostile Work Environment

por Ronda Spina (2018-11-23)

Many people start their dream job thinking that it is going to be a wonderful experience, and many times, luckily, it is. However, there are many reported instances where you dream job can turn into a nightmare through bullying and threats from your co-workers creating a hostile work environment for you and ruining your vision of the ideal dream job.

Workplace bullying can start out innocently enough. Perhaps you have a cute co-worker who may have said one or two "slightly" inappropriate comments that may not have bothered you to begin with. However, sometimes those innocent remarks can escalate quickly and turn into highly inappropriate behavior for the workplace. It is important to understand that in order to be defined as sexual harassment, it must be a one-sided conversation that you have chosen and asked not to be a part of yet you have been made to deal with this harassment constantly regardless of your wishes. Occasionally, sexual harassment in the workplace can turn into something physical such as a "swat" on the behind, or a co-worker who touches you in an inappropriate way. If this has happened on more than one occasion, and you have asked your co-worker to stop, it is time to take action and bring it to the attention of your supervisor to address a situation that has gotten out of control.

A hostile work environment can also consist of one or more co-workers "ganging up" on another employee with the intention of trying to make them leave their job or to make the time they are at their job completely miserable. These immature co-workers can start false rumors to try and convince other co-workers to jump on the bullying bandwagon. It can also come in the form of intimidation, leaving you feel threatened and uneasy even walking out to your car at the end of the work day.

It is important to know in a situation like this, you are not alone. There are support groups set in place to help in situations where people are in a hostile work environment. These groups can give you advice as to the necessary steps you should take to put a stop to the harassment and also names and numbers to call if the situation escalates with no level of support from your place of work.

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