How Hostile Work Conditions Could Impact Mental Health 


Most of us have experienced a workplace where hostility or working conditions were unfavorable to being our best selves. When this treatment is to an extreme, it is time to take action.  

Knowing that your work is your source of security and even personal identity can mean that when things don’t go well, your workplace can instead be a source of stress and anxiety, possibly leading to emotional breakdown and anxiety disorders – especially when you think about the financial impact the loss of your job could have on yourself and your family. Your entire sense of well-being can be jeopardized when you are forced to endure a hostile work environment. We can help. 

At the Vaughn Law Firm, we know firsthand the struggles hard-working employees have when faced with hostility in the workplace. We have many years of experience protecting the rights of employees who have been mistreated and dealing with unacceptable conditions. In fact, that’s all we do. 

Types Of Hostile Work Conditions 

There are a variety of ways an employee can experience a hostile work environment. These include: 

  • Harassment could be described as the adult equivalent of bullying. Someone may not like you for some reason you may not even know and may treat you with disrespect and hostility. 
  • Sexual harassment covers a few categories. For example, childbirth discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual orientation harassment may fall into this category. Or, if you experience unwanted sexual advances or vulgar references – including the use of certain words or even jokes – this can fall into the category of sexual harassment. 
  • Whistleblower retaliation may result in mistreatment or harassment if you have reported someone else’s wrongful behavior. 
  • Verbal harassment can include demeaning conversations, screaming at an employee, and making condescending comments in the presence of other employees or managers. 
  • Creating an unmanageable workload with the idea of getting an employee to quit is considered hostile. 
  • Increasing the parameters of an employee’s role to wear them out. 
  • Intolerance and harassment because of someone’s race or religion is against the law. 
  • Age discrimination often results in an older employee earning less than peers with the same experience or being passed over for promotions because of their age. 
  • Disability discrimination can happen when a person is mistreated because of their disability. This may mean they have not received reasonable accommodations, such as modification of their work environment. 

How Hostile Conditions Impact Employees’ Mental Health

Knowing that you have to get up every morning and face a hostile environment at work can be beyond stressful. This type of experience can lead to stress, anxiety disorders, depression, and more – and it can also aggravate an existing mental health condition. At times it may feel like there is no escape – after all, you need your livelihood to pay the bills – and feeling trapped in that way is not conducive to good mental health. 

What Rights Do I Have As An Employee?

All employees have a right to expect a safe, fair work environment to perform their job without disrespectful treatment, hostility, or harassment. There are federal laws that prohibit an employer from tolerating hostility exacted against any employee. These laws include the Civil Rights Act, the American Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. 

Federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and state laws provide legal protection from being subjected to a hostile work environment. 

How a Lawyer Could Help

If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, are being discriminated against, or treated unfairly, you need not suffer in silence. There is relief. At The Vaughn Law Firm, we understand that a hostile environment at work can lead to severe and lasting mental health issues. We have experience in the complexities of fighting unfair working conditions and winning compensation for those treated unfairly. 

Call The Vaughn Law Firm today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Georgia employment lawyer.