When it comes to matters of a hostile work environment, the question of the effect of peer pressure can be a problem. Is it harassment or just ordinary interaction? How is the ordinary worker to determine when it is becoming a problem? The advice of an employee rights attorney can help a stressed worker determine what his or her options are.
Peer Pressure and the Work Place
Everyone has experienced peer pressure at various points in their lives. Whether at school, social organizations, or in the work place, no person moves through the space entirely untouched or unaffected by the people who surround them. The majority tends to urge individuals to “go with the flow” because that does create the sense that things are moving smoothly. This often turns up in work places, because people get used to certain methods and patterns and they will tend to hold on to those forms even in the face of a new, more efficient method.
Is It Harassment?
Peer pressure in the work place can be a grey area when it comes to the matter of harassment. Co-workers may not be aware of the degree of discomfort they can inflict on the colleague who is not conforming to the expected norms of the work place. If a group of workers unquestioningly accept conditions that are actually improper, their pressures on their co-worker would certainly contribute to a hostile work environment.
Feeding the Hostile Work Environment
When a whistleblower starts to expose work conditions that harass individuals, those who work with them will probably react with suggestions like “Don’t rock the boat” or “Nobody else has a problem with it.” Although these co-workers may not realize that they are reinforcing a problem that needs to be addressed, they are contributing to creating a hostile work environment. The reactions of the co-workers might escalate into whistleblower retaliation. For the whistleblower, the addition of peer pressure to an already difficult situation may raise many questions.
When circumstances become complicated by peer pressure, the whistleblower can consult a labor lawyer. Especially when the whistleblower has a strong desire is to avoid workplace retaliation for bringing the basic problem to official attention. Legal advice can help guide the whistleblower through the difficult events of addressing any sort of workplace harassment.