What is a ‘Hostile Work Environment’?

Man wheelchair suit

In a hostile work environment, behaviour that is unwelcome and that is based on a human rights ground creates a negative or disrespectful work environment for some employees.

For example, behaviours that can create a hostile work environment include displays of pornographic pictures, racist cartoons, telling of offensive jokes about people with disabilities, racist slurs, etc.

Let’s consider an example.

Philippe is French-Canadian and works for a company in Vancouver. His co-workers wrote his name on vicious cartoons about French-Canadians, and posted them around the workplace.

In this situation, the co-workers behaviour is ethnically motivated and based on negative stereotypes. They are harassing Philippe because of his ethnic background.

Philippe works in a hostile work environment.



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