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Is threat of fatal beating considered a hostile work environment

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I work in NC.

Can an email sent to entire department, from dept. head deputy, which threatings fatal beating if work is not performed correctly be used as proof of a hositle work environment?

Three reasons where given that would merit a fatal beating.

I was indirectly accused in at least 2 of the 3 transgressions.

Most people say it was just a joke or something.




Although you did not state your threats any threat can be conceived as a hostile or offensive work environment. The Supreme Court held in the case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson that sexual harassment violating Title VII, must be "sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of {the victim's} employment and create an abusive working environment." Since "hostile environment" harassment takes a variety of forms factors may be used in making determination of violation:(1)whether the conduct was verbal or physical, or both;(2)how frequently it was repeated; (3)whether the conduct was hostile and patently offensive;(4)whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor;(5)whether the other joined in perpetrating the harassment; and(6)whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual. The trier of fact must "adopt" the perspective of a reasonable person reaction to a similar environment or similar circumstance. The reasonable person standards should consider the victim's perspective and not stereotyped notions of acceptable behavior. The conduct of the harasser must have "unreasonably interfer{es} with the individual's work performance" or creates "an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. The Supreme Court also held in the above case mention that an employer is absolutely liable for sexual harassment committed by a supervisory employee, regardless of whether the employee actually knew or reasonably could have known of the misconduct, or would have disapproved of and stopped the misconduct if aware of it. Please refer to the following websites for more information:(1)Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors(www.eeoc.gov/docs/harassment.html),(2)Policy Guidance on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment(www.eeoc.gov/docs/currentissues.html),(3)Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964(www.eeoc.gov/laws/vii.html), and (4)Violence Against Women and Workplace Violence(Department of Justice-www.doj.gov). I hope this information has been very helpful to you and others in bringing proper awareness of creating a "hostile or offensive working environment."

[Edited by HotRedCathie on 06-04-2001 at 06:41 PM]

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