When you wake up and get ready to go to work in the morning, you may look forward to seeing your coworkers. Since you spend most of your waking hours with your colleagues, it is only natural to develop friendships, inside jokes and a support system for life’s challenging events.

But while you may enjoy most of the people you work with, there is usually someone who you cannot stand to be around. Regardless of whether you dislike their personality or think they are rude, are they creating a hostile work environment?

Allow your employer the opportunity to support you if you experience a hostile work environment

Nobody wants their boss to yell at them first thing in the morning or have someone correct every little thing they do. However, while a manager or coworker may be rude or too ornery for your preferences, that does not necessarily mean you work in a hostile environment.

Although this may not be easily identifiable, your coworker or boss could create a hostile work environment if they:

  • Continue their behavior over time
  • Disrupt your ability to fulfill your job duties or career progress
  • Discriminate against you despite a protected classification

If you feel as though someone’s behavior is affecting your work, ask them to stop. Without clear, effective communication about how you feel, they may not know it was bothersome and important to change their ways.

Then, speak with someone in your human resources department to make them aware of the issue. Since they are not typically directly involved with day-to-day employee interactions, letting them know about your experience enables them to act in accordance with state and federal laws, while supporting the company’s guiding principles.

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