Hostile environment harassment occurs when an employee faces discrimination or harassment that is so severe and widespread that it prevents him or her from properly performing the job. This type of harassment may be threatening, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating, and it is possible for an employee to be subject to harassment and discrimination from multiple parties. This type of work environment is not only detrimental to productivity, but it can also have a profoundly negative impact on the mental, emotional, and physical health of employees. Employers who engage in or encourage hostile environment harassment are oftentimes subject to legal action from employees since such behavior almost always violates state and federal employment laws. Preventing hostile environment harassment is an important part of human resource management.
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