A hostile work environment allows ridicule, abuse, insults or derogatory comments that are directly or indirectly based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual harassment, religion, age, handicap, sexual orientation, reprisal, marital status, political affiliation or parental status. While isolated incidents of harassment generally do not violate federal law, a pattern of incidents may be unlawful.It is further defined as an offensive or intimidating environment that unreasonably interferes with work performance or that otherwise adversely affects employment opportunities. Employees are also responsible to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by FLETC or to otherwise avoid harm.Age discrimination also occurs among age groups who are over age 40.For example, the selection of a 45-year old candidate may appear to be discriminatory to 55-year old candidates if it can be shown that management has never selected a candidate at or above age 55.
In defining religious discrimination, the United States Supreme Court held that religion is not limited to Orthodox or well recognized denominations; e.g., Catholic, Baptist or Judaism.A person with a disability is defined as one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major lifefunctions (e.g., walking, speaking, breathing, learning, etc.); one who has a record of such, or one who is regarded as having a disability.Discrimination based on reprisal is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In these decisions, the Supreme Court made clear that employers are subject to vicarious liability for unlawful harassment by supervisors.It is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s (FLETC) policy to ensure that every employee enjoys a non-hostile work environment free of discrimination or harassment of any kind.All employment decisions; such as hiring, promoting, training and rewarding, will be made exclusively on the basis of job-related criteria (e.g., employees’ knowledge, skills, abilities and performance).