What is an actionable toxic workplace?

A toxic workplace is characterized by negative behaviours, attitudes, or practices that create an unhealthy and hostile work atmosphere.

But only certain types of toxicity — name-calling, bullying, discrimination, harassment and other unsafe working conditions — will amount to something that would support legal action.

For a toxic workplace to be considered actionable, specific criteria must typically be met. Here are some examples:

  • Harassment and Bullying: verbal abuse, intimidation, exclusion, and spreading rumours or gossip contribute to a toxic environment.
  • Discrimination: Unfair treatment based on protected characteristics, biased decision-making and hositle work environments perpetrate toxicity.
  • Unreasonable Expectations: Excessive workloads, unrealistic deadlines, micromanagement and punitive measures.
  • Retaliation and Fair: Punishing employees for raising concerns and threatening job security perpetuate a culture of toxicity.