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A hostile work environment is created as a result of harassment that makes individuals feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Speech or behavior that creates a hostile work environment is unwanted, uninvited, offensive to a reasonable person, and severe or pervasive enough to adversely affect the person's work environment. The speech or behavior may be verbal, nonverbal, and/or physical, and may be based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, political affiliation, citizenship status, marital status, or personal appearance.

The primary challenge of harassment law is to define when speech or behavior becomes so severe and prevalent that it creates a hostile environment for the target. In general, when determining the existence of a hostile work environment, the court ...

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