An unsupportive and hostile working environment for diverse employees. Sexual, racial, and age harassment are common examples of hostile work environments. Whether perpetrated against women, men, or older individuals, hostile environments are demeaning, unethical, and appropriately called “work environment pollution.” Moreover, the EEOC holds employers legally accountable for behavior that creates a hostile work environment. An expert on the subject explains: An employer violates Title VII of the Civil Rights [Act] of 1964 [see Table 2–1] if it engages in unlawful discrimination by maintaining a hostile work environment. To prove a hostile work environment claim involving co-workers, an employee must show that she was subject to unwelcome harassment based on a protected characteristic [e.g., race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age] and that the harassment was severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile or abusive working environment. In addition, the employee must show that the employer knew or should have known about the environment and failed to act promptly to prevent or end the harassment.77 Sexual harassment, which we discuss in Chapter 11 under the context of men and women working together in groups, is the most frequent type of hostile environment charge filed with the EEOC.