How do I prove my workplace is a hostile work environment?

Hostile  Work Environment

To prove a hostile work environment claim, an employee must prove that the underlying acts were severe or pervasive.  To determine if the environment is hostile, the courts consider the totality of the circumstances, including the conduct’s severity.  Severe harassment includes physical touching, implicit physical coercion, extreme language, or obscene behavior.

The harassment must be both unwelcome and offensive to you, as well as being objectively offensive (meaning that a reasonable person would find the harassment hostile and abusive).

To determine whether harassment violates Title VII, courts consider the following factors:

  • the frequency of the discriminatory conduct;
  • its severity;
  • whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; and
  • whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance.


Top-Rated Maryland Washington DC Virginia Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Hiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in an employment discrimination case.  Eric Bachman, Chair of the Firm’s Discrimination Practice, has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting individual and class action discrimination cases.   His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain.   As Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is a litigator ready to fight for you to obtain the relief that you deserve. 

Bachman writes frequently on employment discrimination issues at the Glass Ceiling Discrimination Blog and has been quoted in national media about discrimination cases.   U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you.  

To schedule a preliminary consultation, click here or call us at (202) 769-1681 or (202) 262-8959.

Click here to see our videos answering frequently asked questions about discrimination and retaliation.

Download our sexual harassment survival guide for employees:

Sex Harassment Lawyers Maryland Virginia Washington DC



The sexual harassment attorneys at Zuckerman Law represent victims of harassment throughout Maryland, including Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Gaithersburg, and Potomac.



Top-Rated Maryland Washington DC Virginia Gender Discrimination Law Firm

Washington DC Maryland Virginia
1629 K Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 769-1681
By Appointment Only
5425 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 600
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(202) 769-1681
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1934 Old Gallows
Rd #350
Tysons, VA 22182
(571) 288-1309
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