Employment Discrimination Tips: 6 Red Flags That Could Indicate a Hostile Work Environment

When it comes to employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, prevention is often the best strategy. Employees harmed by workplace age, race, or sexual discrimination have options to get compensation and stop any unfair practices. But ideally, one should just enjoy working in a stress free, harassment free zone.

When job hunting, watch for the following red flags that could indicate a less than harmonious working environment.

1. Sloppy office/ poorly maintained premises. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. If a place of potential employment is a pigsty beset by hazards such as litter, slippery floors, or even just a permeating bad smell, trust your gut and get out of there!

2. Erratic, depressed, or anxious feeling pervading workplace. Do the people in the office seem excited and energized to be there? Or do they appear anxious, depressed, extremely stressed out, fatigued, or crabby? Obviously, everyone has good and bad days – and this is true for highly functional offices as well. But the mood of a place of business can give you strong hints about its managerial practices.

3. Public complaints about the business. Obviously, not every “sour grapes” story you hear through the grapevine is true. But if you note a pattern among complaints – particularly if they relate to a boss you may have to work for – pay attention.
4. Past employees/ associates speak badly about their experiences. Ex-employees/associates can offer a solid, candid perspective on a business. Be aware, however, that many factors can influence job satisfaction — including personal factors that can unfairly color perspective.

5. The company has been accused in the past of creating or abiding a hostile work environment. You can consult the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for information about certain past hostile workplace complaints.

6. Boss is demanding – even before you begin to work there. If you interview with a potential superior and that person begins grilling you and treating you like you are already a subordinate, this could indicate that your future boss might be a control freak.

If, however, you’re already in an undesirable workplace situation, get help navigating the complex legal issues concerning employment discrimination, hostile work environments, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Turn to the experts here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum. Our renowned and reputable lawyers have demonstrated success time and gain – and we can provide a free, no obligation consultation regarding your workplace issues. Call us or email us now.