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.