Harassment on the job can come in many forms and can involve race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age or disability. It appears to be a growing problem in Indiana, but the Indiana Civil Rights Department states it can only step in to try to resolve the problem if it involves one of these categories.
Yet though governmental commission may only have so much authority to remedy a particular circumstance, attorneys experienced in various employment law areas can assist employees of former employees in bringing lawsuits where a hostile work environment has been created and management has done little to nothing to remedy the situation. Since such circumstances often concern matters of individual's wages such matters need to be handled delicately, but that's not to say that nothing can be done.
Sexual harassment could be an example of a hostile work environment where circumstances have made it uncomfortable to go to work and perform your work duties. Likewise, if an employee complains about such an environment and management fails to act or even retaliates against the worker for bringing the complaint up, there are actions that can be taken that are appropriate under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's guidelines.
Sadly, such practices are so widespread that state and federal commissions have little time to deal with every case. Also such harassment often is singular with circumstances that are often different from those of other cases. Employers are often in denial that such harassment even takes place as a workplace, or disciplinary actions against an offending employee amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.
Source: thestarpress.com, "On the job harassment," by Joe McFarland, March 16, 2012