A 'Hostile Working Environment' -- What It Is and What It Is Not | Sessions

Search Schedule

Concurrent Session, Mega Session
A 'Hostile Working Environment' -- What It Is and What It Is Not
In-Person and Virtual Wednesday 06/14/2023 07:30 AM - 08:30 AM   Add to calendar

Competencies: Interpersonal (Behavioral), Workplace (Technical) | Intended Audience: Mid-Level
Workplace Application:
This presentation will teach HR professionals how to identify complaints that describe a 'hostile working environment' and those that do not. 

Employees frequently complain about a 'hostile working environment.' The term has specific legal meaning that is much narrower than is typically thought. It does not ordinarily cover demanding or unpleasant bosses, rude or gossipy co-workers, or hot-tempered customers. To the contrary, it requires conduct that meets certain legal standards and is tied to a protected classification such as age, sex or race. HR professionals must know how to distinguish between complaints of a hostile working environment that potentially involve unlawful conduct and require a thorough investigation, and those that merely describe the ordinary stresses of the work day. This presentation will highlight the difference.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the legal meaning of the term 'hostile working environment.'
  • Learn how to distinguish between complaints of a hostile environment that require a full investigation and those that do not.
  • Learn how to address complaints that do not involve unlawful conduct or violations of company policy.

In-person session offerings are on a first-come, first-served basis.

To view all event accessibility & accommodations details visit here.

If a speaker has provided session materials, please visit https://presentations.shrm.org

All virtual sessions inherently run the risk of audio or visual issues due to factors out of our control. If any technical difficulties arise, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work diligently to resolve it. Most virtual sessions are recorded and will be available to view on demand until Monday, August 14 at 8:00 AM PT.

James J. McDonald, Jr., J.D., SHRM-SCP Photo
James J. McDonald, Jr., J.D., SHRM-SCP, Partner,
Fisher & Phillips, LLP