How to recognize the signs of a hostile work environment

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2021 | Discrimination At Work

A manager who demotes employees or cuts their hours after they complain of racial discrimination may demonstrate a hostile work environment. Offensive comments regarding an employee’s ethnic background may also indicate that a workplace has become hostile.

Both federal and Florida state laws prohibit employers from harassing, hiring or firing employees based on race, ethnicity or national origin. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employees passed over for a promotion may have also experienced discrimination.

Showing bias or discrimination influenced a manager’s decision

An employee experiencing intimidation or a reduction in hours may present a complaint to a company’s HR department. Documenting each incident may help employees prove discrimination.

A manager may take some form of retaliatory action after a discrimination complaint. An employee may then have further evidence that a hostile work environment led to reduced hours or a missed promotion. In a Polk County case reported by the Tampa Bay Times, a restaurant did not take three employees’ complaints seriously at first, and their manager then cut their hours.

Filing a discrimination lawsuit to remedy racial bias in the workplace

The three fast-food chain employees next filed a legal action against the Polk County restaurant’s corporate owner. Their suit claimed the employees’ manager mistreated them based on their race. The complaint also noted that the manager made offensive racial comments disparaging both customers and employees.

Employees forced to continue working under hostile conditions have a right to seek a legal remedy. A lawsuit may result in compensation for damages, including back pay for a promotion that an employee would have received if not for a manager’s bias.