Do you think you may be a victim of a hostile work environment? If so, your employer could be violating federal and California employment laws for subjecting you to illegal workplace harassment. But taking legal action on these harassing behaviors can get a little tricky. This is because workers who claim hostile working conditions may not know that this type of harassment is illegal only if it is based on a protected characteristic (race, age, national origin, sex, religion, disability and so on) of the employee. In a hostile work environment, harassment must also meet a certain level of severity, that is, it must be either "severe" or "pervasive." This means that only a small number of workplace hostility claims actually satisfy the legal definition of workplace discrimination and harassment. So how do you know when your employer is truly violating the law?