6 Signs You're in a Hostile Work Environment—And How To Get Out! | Career Contessa (2023)

Work + Life Balance

6 Signs You're in a Hostile Work Environment—And How To Get Out!

Feel like you're stuck in a hostile workplace? Chances are that you're 100 percent right and your workplace is toxic. Here's what to do next.

Photoby Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

A hostile work environment is a toxic work environment—but one that’s ratcheted upseveral notches.

Rather, a hostile work environment is a workplace that consistently doles out harassment and discrimination—to the point where work becomes intimidating or abusive.

According to attorney Brad Nakase, ahostile work environment is “a workplace that intimidates employees and makes them feel uncomfortable and/or scared due to unwelcome conduct.”

As an employee, you have legal rights that protect you from being targeted by or witnessing this kind of behavior, but it’s important to know what constitutes harassment and what is considered a “petty incident” or a one-off offensive slight.

If you’re experiencing any sort of bad workplace behavior, you may wonder if you’re in a hostile environment, legally speaking.

And it can be hard to determine what constitutes this since the lines of toxicity to straight-up hostility can be a bit blurry. Below are six signs that you’re in an outwardly hostile workplace.

What Is a Hostile Work Environment?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,workplace harassment is defined as “unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, older age (beginning at age 40), disability, or genetic information (including family medical history).”

While any harassment is of course unethical and unkind, what takes harassment and makes it unlawful, according to the EEOC, is when:

  • The person being harassed (or witnesses to the harassment) must endure the behavior in order to stay employed.
  • The harassment is “severe or pervasive enough” that the environment would be considered intimidating or abusive to an average person.

6 Signs of a Hostile Work Environment

If you’re wondering whether bullying at work is technically illegal or just someone being mean, here are the red flags that you’re dealing with more than just bad behavior—that it’s likely straight-up workplace hostility that may be illegal.

Sign #1: It's a toxic work environment.

A toxic work environment doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in a hostile work environment. But a hostile work environment means you’re in a toxic workplace. Make sense?

In other words, if your workplace is toxic—if you’re experiencing or witnessing bullying, gossip, exclusion, insults, miscommunication, or any of the other telltale signs of a toxic work environment—your spidey senses should kick into gear.

Toxic behavior can quickly slide into outwardly hostile behavior. If you’re seeing these signs, start to watch for hostility.

What to Do:We’ve said it over and over again, but data is your friend in any situation like this. This is when it’s important to start taking stock of what’s happening and start taking careful notes about each incident.

It’s one thing if someone makes an unkind remark about a colleague’s work in a stressful situation (still not cool, obviously, but likely not considered hostile). It’s another if you start to notice consistent bullying or discriminatory actions based on sex, age, color, religion, or other similar factors.

Date each incident and provide as much detail as possible. Your notes will matter here, as they may be considered evidence of hostile behavior, should the situation escalate.

At this point, we also recommend immediately speaking with your manager and/or with human resources. If you’re noticing toxic behavior enough to record it, it’s also time to report it. Do your due diligence.

6 Signs You're in a Hostile Work Environment—And How To Get Out! | Career Contessa (1)

Sign #2: The hostile workplace behavior happens consistently.

The EEOC’s explanation of workplace harassment specifically notes that the harassment must be “consistent” and “pervasive” to be considered illegal. “Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality,” their definition notes.

This means that a one-off incident in which a supervisor makes a discriminatory remark toward an employee may not be considered workplace hostility, in a legal sense. (Though we’d still recommend reporting this to your supervisor or HR).

Watch for this behavior to happen consistently over a period of time.

What to Do:You probably guessed it...more note-taking and data collecting. If you can prove it’sconsistent, you can prove it’s pervasive. Thorough records of the incidents you’re experiencing or witnessing will help show that harassment is taking place. And, again, reporting the behavior to the appropriate parties is important here too.

Sign #3: The hostile behavior becomes aggressive.

Bad workplace behavior doesn’t have to be physically aggressive to be a sign of workplace hostility (though if you’re seeing that, certainly report it). Aggression can look like verbal attacks, spiteful comments, or cruelty toward someone in general.

Aggression will likely look like standard bullying behavior at work. If you’re seeing that, you’re likely in a hostile workplace.

What to Do:If your physical safety or the safety of another person is at risk, immediately intervene, in the safest way possible. This may be one of those rare moments in whichrage-quitting and walking out is okay.

This is also the prime time to speak to HR and consider reporting the behavior to proper authorities (which we’ll discuss below).

Sign #4: The hostile behavior is discriminatory.

Per the EEOC’s definition of harassment, bad behavior must violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

A telltale sign of a hostile work environment is if the behavior you’re experiencing or witnessing is discriminatory based on “race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, older age (beginning at age 40), or genetic information (including family history).”

If you hear a manager speaking poorly about an older colleague, experience unfair treatmentbecause of pregnancy, overhear racist or sexist remarks, or experience gender discrimination, you may be in a hostile work environment.

This would also look like sexual harassment of any sort, including lude comments or explicit material circulating.

What to Do:Speak up. If you notice that this is happening, immediately go to your manager (assuming they’re not the perpetrator). If they are, go to HR—with your notes about the incident(s) in hand.

Even if the behavior doesn’t rise to the level of true harassment, it’s still likely grounds for intervention.

Resources for BIPOC Community:

  • Live Another Day: Extensive information on mental health and substance use resources for People of Color. Their mission is equal access to life-saving resources.
  • Detox Local:An excellent resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community.

Sign #5: The behavior disrupts the ability to work or the ability to move forward in one's career.

If the behavior is so bad that it’s interfering with work, it’s probably considered hostile behavior.

For example, if you’re being bullied by a colleague or supervisor to the point that you’re unable to concentrate on your work, that’s likely harassment.

Similarly, if you’re worried about being able to move up the ladder in your career because of a supervisor who constantly berates you and causes emotional distress, that’s likely harassment.

What to Do:If this is the case, it’s likely time to speak with HR and then jump ship and quit. No job is worth being constantly berated or victimized. Moving up the ladder isn’t worth sacrificing your mental health. You may also wish to report this behavior to proper authorities.

Sign #6: The victim of the harassing behavior feels stuck.

Finally, a sign of a hostile workplace is feeling like you can’t get out.

Your colleague or boss may make you feel as if you won’t be able to find another role, that your skills are obsolete, or usegaslighting techniques to make you question your own experiences or what you’ve been witness to. All of these are major red flags.

What to Do:First, realize that you’re never stuck. We realize that our jobs are often tied to our health insurance, that they’re our sources of income, and that these are things not to be taken lightly. If you’re feeling bullied and afraid to quit your position, however, it’s time to speak with management about your concerns and then do your best to prepare to get out.

This may look like spending some time preparing your finances, looking for a promising new job, or speaking with a lawyer about how to best proceed.

Examples of Hostile Behavior at Work

There are all sorts of hostile work situations. That said, the EEOC’s definition of what rises to the level of illegality includes pervasive discriminatory behaviors. Here are a few examples of behaviors that would be considered hostile.

  • Sexual harassment like sexually suggestive behavior, showing photos, unwanted physical touching, making sexual jokes, or invading someone’s personal space
  • Discriminatory, racist comments or jokes, or ethnic slurs
  • Consistently commenting on someone’s appearance
  • Group shaming of a single person
  • Sabotage of a person’s work
  • Unwelcome touching of any kind
  • Threatening behavior

It’s also important to remember that hostile work environments aren’t limited to hostility in an in-person situation. Examples of a hostile remote work environment could include:

  • Forming an online group that excludes a colleague for the sake of shaming or bullying
  • Posting photos of a colleague online
  • Online bullying through chat or social media platforms
  • Sabotage of someone’s work online

How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment

It’s tricky to prove whether your workplace is hostile or simply toxic. In the event that the situation has become severe enough to escalate matters, you’ll want to do a few things.

First, you must have done your due diligence.

This means you’ve collected data about the behavior you believe to be hostile, and you’ve asked your manager and HR to address it. You’ll want to document your discussions with your boss and HR as well. Any tangible proof you have is helpful.

At that point, your employer has been made aware of the situation, and it’s their duty to solve the problem. In fact, the employer may be liable for allowing the behavior in the first place, so it can be detrimental for them if they don’t intervene at this point.

This may mean termination of the offending employee, or they may put the employee on a behavior correction plan. Either way, this will hopefully solve the problem. And note thatthe EEOC protects employees from retaliation for filing a complaint with an employer.

If it doesn’t solve the issue, however, and you’ve decided to take legal action because of a severe case, you’ll again want to compile lots of data.

You’ll need physical evidence of the discriminatory harassment (this might look like screenshots or photos), written and dated records of the interactions, and witness statements, and your next step would be toconsult an attorney such as hostile work environment attorneys.


How do you handle a hostile work environment explain your answer? ›

How to handle a hostile work environment
  1. Understand what a hostile working environment is. ...
  2. Speak with the perpetrator. ...
  3. Report the misconduct to a supervisor. ...
  4. Be persistent. ...
  5. Get a support system. ...
  6. Respond professionally. ...
  7. Take legal steps. ...
  8. Quit the position.
Oct 23, 2022

How do you get out of a hostile work environment? ›

Ten Ways to Survive a Hostile Working Environment
  1. Find an Escape. Shield yourself from the constant negativity of hostile work environment examples by escaping from it. ...
  2. Be Sure to Have Allies. ...
  3. Take Steps to Be Protected. ...
  4. Seek Help if Needed.

How do you prove a work environment is toxic? ›

What are the signs of a toxic workplace?
  1. There are no boundaries around work. ...
  2. People don't trust each other. ...
  3. There's no room to make mistakes. ...
  4. People treat each other with contempt. ...
  5. The interpersonal relationships aren't healthy. ...
  6. There is no support for employee growth. ...
  7. People frequently feel gaslighted.

How to write a statement to HR about hostile work environment? ›

And that's why I've outlined the email you need to send to get the conversation started.
  1. Begin With a Thank You. Most people respond well to a compliment. ...
  2. State the Matter You Want to Address. Clarity's key in life. ...
  3. State the Reasoning Behind Your Position. ...
  4. Provide Solutions. ...
  5. End With a Thank You.

What is hostile work environment in HR? ›

A hostile work environment is created when harassing or discriminatory conduct is so severe and pervasive it interferes with an individual's ability to perform their job; creates an intimidating, offensive, threatening or humiliating work environment; or causes a situation where a person's psychological well-being is ...

What defines a toxic work environment? ›

A toxic work environment is one where negative, antagonistic, or bullying behavior is baked into the very culture. In a toxic work environment, employees are stressed, communication is limited, blame culture is rife, and people are rewarded (tacitly or explicitly) for unethical, harmful, or nasty attitudes and actions.

How do I talk to my boss about a toxic work environment? ›

Addressing the situation with your manager: Your first step in dealing with a toxic work environment is to bring it up to your manager. Instead of making accusations, share a couple of specific examples of the hostility you're facing. Propose a solution, like adjusting the scope of your role or someone else's.

What is emotional distress from hostile work environment? ›

Workplace emotional distress develops when employees face stressful situations at work. Common sources of such stress include poor coworker relationships, negative feedback, and discrimination. Employees that receive negative feedback and heavy workloads may also develop emotional distress.

What must an employee claiming hostile work environment prove? ›

Courts have found that to establish that harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms or conditions of employment, an employee must prove that her work environment was both subjectively and objectively hostile.

Should I quit a hostile work environment? ›

The biggest upside to leaving a hostile environment is simply that you don't have to work in it anymore. Suffering in a place where you feel threatened, belittled, mocked, or forced to do things you don't want to is no way to maintain a healthy and stable emotional or mental state.

Can you fire an employee for being hostile? ›

If you report to your employer that you believe you are being subjected to a hostile work environment, your employer cannot take an adverse employment action, such as reassigning you, demoting you, reducing your pay, denying you a raise, or terminating your employment, in response to your complaint.

Can you get PTSD from toxic work environment? ›

Research shows a link between workplace bullying and symptoms of PTSD. And you may be shocked at how often it happens.

What are the 3 varieties of hostile work environment? ›

The three types of hostile work environment in California are: verbal, non-verbal, and environmental. These three categories encompass every hostile work environment in California workplaces, and are prohibited under California law.

How do I protect myself from toxic coworkers? ›

How to Protect Yourself from Toxic Coworkers? 7 Tips
  1. Don't try to please them. ...
  2. Speak up if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe around someone. ...
  3. Don't get sucked into the toxicity. ...
  4. Set boundaries with Toxic People. ...
  5. Keep hold of your emotions. ...
  6. Keep a positive attitude, even when things are tough.
Jun 20, 2022

What happens when you report something to HR? ›

When you file a report with HR, they will address the problem by opening an investigation and taking appropriate action. Throughout each step of the investigation, HR will work to determine what happened, whether company policies were violated, and, if so, to what severity.

How can a manager create a hostile work environment? ›

A few examples of behavior that could create a hostile work environment include:
  1. Repeated comments or jokes about a protected characteristic (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity)
  2. Displaying offensive symbols or pictures.
  3. Threatening or intimidating behavior.
  4. Physical assaults or unwanted touching.
Jun 29, 2022

How do I complain about my boss professionally? ›

How to Complain About a Bad Manager
  1. Identify Your Complaint. Clarify your reason for making a complaint against your boss. ...
  2. Collect Evidence. The next step is to collect evidence. ...
  3. Find Help. Next, identify who is most likely to be able to help you. ...
  4. Ask for a Meeting. ...
  5. Other Considerations.
Jul 20, 2018

What is an example of creating a hostile work environment? ›

If you hear a manager speaking poorly about an older colleague, experience unfair treatment because of pregnancy, overhear racist or sexist remarks, or experience gender discrimination, you may be in a hostile work environment.

What is a hostile and intimidating work environment? ›

Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

What questions are asked in a hostile work environment investigation? ›

The investigation questions include:
  • What did you see and hear?
  • When was it? ...
  • Where did it take place?
  • Who was involved in the claims?
  • What did each person in the incident do and say?
  • What did you do and say?
  • Was anyone else present?
  • How did the complainant and subject react in response to what you witnessed?

What are 5 words to describe a toxic work environment? ›

Researchers analyzed 1.4 million Glassdoor reviews from nearly 600 major U.S. companies and found employees describe toxic workplaces in five main ways: non-inclusive, disrespectful, unethical, cutthroat and abusive.

When should you quit your job? ›

Signs When Is It Time to Leave a Job
  1. You Feel Burnout & Exhaustion. ...
  2. You See No Growth. ...
  3. Your Workplace Is Toxic. ...
  4. Your Company Has No Future. ...
  5. You Are Undercompensated. ...
  6. You Found a Better Opportunity. ...
  7. You Don't Have Work-life Balance. ...
  8. You Feel Uninspired and Unengaged.
Jan 31, 2023

What are 5 ways to identify a toxic workplace? ›

  • Inexplicable turnover. The most obvious sign of toxicity is inexplicable turnover. ...
  • Lack of transparency. ...
  • Gossip among employees. ...
  • People pointing fingers at others. ...
  • Passive-aggressive behavior. ...
  • Unmotivated workers. ...
  • Low team morale. ...
  • Division among departments.
Nov 21, 2022

What should you not say to HR? ›

What should you not say to HR?
  • The general rule is don't bring your everyday complaints to HR. They're not there to make your job better or easier and they might fire you simply because they don't want to hear it. ...
  • Discrimination. ...
  • Medical needs. ...
  • Pay issues. ...
  • Cooperate with HR if asked, but be smart about it.

How do you tell if you are being pushed out of your job? ›

Here are five signs an employer wants you to quit or that you're in danger of getting fired:
  1. You're being micromanaged. ...
  2. Your workload has been reduced. ...
  3. You're excluded from important meetings. ...
  4. You're being ignored. ...
  5. Your efforts aren't recognized.
Nov 21, 2022

How do you outsmart a toxic boss? ›

7 tips for dealing with a toxic boss
  1. Give them feedback. Some managers might not be aware of just how toxic their actions are, Casciaro says. ...
  2. Try understanding (not excusing) their behavior. ...
  3. 3. Make other connections. ...
  4. Cultivate self-care. ...
  5. Ask for help. ...
  6. Join forces with others. ...
  7. Get TF out.
Apr 18, 2023

What are the mental breakdowns from a toxic workplace? ›

It can lead to excessive stress, fatigue, depression and anxiety, and even feelings of burnout. Employees in a toxic work environment may feel unmotivated, which can decrease their productivity. They may have a harder time engaging with others and communicating openly about their needs and boundaries.

What is undue stress at the workplace? ›

When an employee doesn't feel physically or emotionally safe while working; When relationships with co-workers are strained; or when an employee suffers from workplace bullying or harassment.

What is the difference between a toxic and hostile work environment? ›

Key Takeaways. When considering whether you may be working in a hostile work environment, remember: To be an actionable hostile work environment, rather than merely a toxic office culture, the abusive conduct must be related to the employee's race, sex, religion, etc.

What is the two part test when determining a hostile work environment? ›

The conduct was unwelcome; The conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of his/her employment; and. The resulting work environment was objectionably offensive and subjectively abusive.

Is there a two part test when determining a hostile work environment? ›

There is a two-prong subjective/objective test for determining it. The subjective test is whether it is unwelcome and sufficiently severe to the complainant. And the objective test is whether, from a reasonable person's perspective, the behavior would also meet that standard.

What is the defense for hostile work environment? ›

One of an employer's strongest defenses in a hostile work environment claim is the Faragher-Ellerth defense, which requires an employer to show that it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective ...

How do you resign from a toxic work environment immediately? ›

Tips for leaving a toxic job while preserving your mental well-being, according to someone who's been there
  1. Be gentle with yourself. ...
  2. Don't feel like you have to explain yourself or justify your departure. ...
  3. Try not to take hostile responses to your departure personally. ...
  4. Remember: A toxic workplace is not your fault.
Aug 10, 2022

How do you give notice to a toxic boss? ›

Tips to help you dump your bad boss while maintaining your professionalism
  1. Document any toxic behavior from your boss. ...
  2. Get references before you quit. ...
  3. Do not complain about your current job during interviews. ...
  4. Try to avoid quitting without notice. ...
  5. Do not jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

How do I quit a toxic job without burning bridges? ›

Here's exactly how to quit a job without burning bridges:
  1. Give two weeks' notice whenever possible. ...
  2. Tell the most senior people on the team first. ...
  3. Consider what you share. ...
  4. Limit gossip with colleagues. ...
  5. Provide a transition document. ...
  6. Continue to show up. ...
  7. Keep your post-work communications professional.
Mar 7, 2023

Can I record my boss yelling at me? ›

In California, it is a misdemeanor to record a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation, which can lead to fines of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment for up to a year.

What is it called when your manager treats you unfairly? ›

Disparate treatment, also known as adverse treatment, occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly compared to other employees based on the person's personal characteristics, especially with regard toprotected classes.

How do you terminate an employee with dignity? ›

7 Tips for Terminating an Employee with Empathy, Dignity and Compassion
  1. Don't make it about you. ...
  2. Don't take anyone by surprise. ...
  3. Be fair and respectful — never cruel. ...
  4. Give terminated employees time and space to react. ...
  5. Be prepared. ...
  6. Offer support for the transition. ...
  7. If necessary, delegate.
Oct 4, 2022

What are the 17 symptoms of PTSD? ›

Changes in physical and emotional reactions
  • Being easily startled or frightened.
  • Always being on guard for danger.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior.
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame.

What do you say when leaving a toxic job? ›

How to explain you left a toxic workplace
  • Prepare a response before interviewing. ...
  • Maintain professionalism and stay positive. ...
  • Briefly mention the reason you left. ...
  • Shift the focus to discuss your interest. ...
  • Explain your career goals.
Feb 3, 2023

Why is it so hard to leave a toxic job? ›

As the toxic workplace often drains all the energy one has, they feel so stressed, under pressure, and eager to leave, that they end up paralyzed, unable to take the next steps.

What is an act of retaliation? ›

Retaliation Definition

Unlawful retaliation occurs when a person or an institution takes an adverse action against an individual either in response to the exercise of a protected activity or to deter or prevent protected activity in the future.

What is a quid pro quo harassment? ›

The Latin term quid pro quo translates to "something for something." Quid pro quo harassment occurs in the workplace when a manager or other authority figure offers or merely hints that they will give the employee something (a raise or a promotion) in return for that employee's satisfaction with a sexual demand.

What are the levels of hostile behavior? ›

Table of Contents
  • Level One (Early Warning Signs)
  • Level Two (Escalation of the Situation)
  • Level Three (Further Escalation – Usually Resulting in an Emergency Response)
  • Domestic Violence.

How do you not let mean coworkers bother you? ›

How to deal with any kind of difficult coworker
  1. Avoid them if you can. Some people are best in small doses. ...
  2. Don't let them push your buttons. Figure out why your difficult coworker bothers you so much. ...
  3. Stay positive. Don't let a difficult coworker burn you out. ...
  4. Don't take it personally.
Jun 3, 2022

How do you deal with coworkers who belittle you? ›

Try one of these strategies to keep your cool and not sink to the level of the offending party.
  1. Don't Take it Personally. First and foremost, keep calm and carry on, as they say. ...
  2. Call Him on It. ...
  3. Neutralize Your Body Language. ...
  4. Ask for Clarification.

What is an example of unfair treatment at work? ›

Here are just a few examples of unfair treatment at work:

Demoting, transferring, or dismissing an employee without a fair, disciplinary process. Paying women lower wages for doing the same job, because of their sex. Firing or laying off older workers so the company can hire younger, cheaper workers to do their jobs.

What is an example of a hostile work environment harassment? ›

If you hear a manager speaking poorly about an older colleague, experience unfair treatment because of pregnancy, overhear racist or sexist remarks, or experience gender discrimination, you may be in a hostile work environment.

How do I know if I'm being treated unfairly at work? ›

How To Spot Unfair Treatment At Work
  • Spreading false rumors about coworkers.
  • Neglecting a promotion or pay raise due to a race, gender, or other non-work-specific trait.
  • Sending offensive emails or texts regarding an employee.
  • Paying certain employees lower wages due to a protected characteristic as mentioned above.
Feb 7, 2022

What are the 5 unfair labor practices of employers? ›

There are five categories of unfair labor practices for employers that are prohibited under the NLRA:
  • Interference, restraint, or coercion. ...
  • Employer domination or support of a labor organization. ...
  • Discrimination on the basis of labor activity. ...
  • Discrimination in retaliation for going to the NLRB. ...
  • Refusal to bargain.

How do you tell if your boss is treating you unfairly? ›

So if you think your boss is being unfair to you, it might be worth it to observe and/or ask how she treats coworkers who are different than you. If you notice a pattern of treatment toward workers with a certain similarity (e.g., your boss in only a jerk to women) then you might be facing unlawful discrimination.

What are 3 examples that are not harassment? ›

9 Examples in the Workplace that are NOT Harassment
  • The one-off inappropriate joke or remark. One sexual joke or lewd remark once ever is not illegal. ...
  • Consensual behavior. ...
  • Playing favorites. ...
  • Boss yelling at you for no reason. ...
  • Extra work assignments. ...
  • Work process correction. ...
  • Not a legally protected class. ...
  • Repeat urine tests.
Feb 6, 2018

What are intolerable working conditions examples? ›

Intolerable work conditions might include discrimination or harassment, mistreatment, or receiving a cut in pay or job duties for reasons that aren't work-related. An employer can purposefully make work conditions intolerable to force the employee to resign.

Can you get PTSD from a hostile work environment? ›

A hostile work environment contributes to anxiety, depression, and in severe cases, can cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD can include nightmares, unpredictable mood swings, insomnia, and angry outbursts.

What are the symptoms of post traumatic stress at workplace? ›

“Workplace PTSD can manifest as chronic anxiety, hyper-reactivity, exhaustion, depression, emotional numbing, self-isolation, sleep difficulties, lack of focus, irritability, negativity, avoidance of work, intrusive thoughts, self-blame, and blaming of others,” Manly said.

Can you go to HR for a toxic work environment? ›

You should be able to make a complaint with HR privately and safely. Under the law, you can even report harassment you witnessed, even if you weren't personally the victim of the abuse. But if you work in a toxic or hostile environment, you may not feel safe enough to actually report your harasser.

When should you leave a toxic job? ›

If your workplace has several or even all of these markers, skip the hazmat suit and start looking for a new job.
  • A Toxic Workplace May Have Poor Communication.
  • A Toxic Workplace May Have Cliques, Exclusion + Gossipy Behavior.
  • A Toxic Workplace May Have Bad Leadership.
  • A Toxic Workplace Likely Has Unmotivated Coworkers.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated: 12/12/2023

Views: 6107

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.