When you work in an atmosphere that is not friendly or hospitable to employees, it is considered a hostile work environment. This type of environment is very damaging to employee morale. Depending upon the level of hostility, it can also lead to workplace violence. For these reasons, it is important for you to report a hostile work environment to management. If management refuses to take action, you can pursue legal action by reporting the matter to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or an employment lawyer.
Write down the date and time of each hostile incident. This includes hostile words that are spoken, as well as hostile actions taken.
Document the details of each incident. Write down exactly what happened and who did it. You can also write down what happened immediately before each incident. By doing so, it can help investigators determine motive.
Include the names of witnesses for each incident. Speak with the witnesses to determine if anyone wishes to remain anonymous. If one wishes to remain anonymous, state so in your documentation.
Write down who you have informed of the hostile work environment. This includes managers, supervisors and other employees.
Document how management responds to your report of an hostile working environment. State what actions are taken by management to prevent future hostility. If management has not taken any action, document this as well.
Use a journal or notebook to keep your documentations organized.
- Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images