When Calling a Company a ‘Family’ Results in a Toxic Workplace

By: JML Law | November 22, 2022.

It is not uncommon for companies to advertise themselves as a “family,” and while this may sound appealing to potential employees, it can also lead to a toxic workplace.

The idea of a company being a family often stems from the desire to create a sense of community and belonging among employees. However, this can also lead to an unhealthy dynamic where employees are expected to prioritize the needs of the company over their own personal lives and well-being.

One problem with the concept of a company being a family is that it can create an expectation of loyalty and commitment that goes beyond the normal bounds of an employment relationship. Employees may feel pressure to put the company’s needs before their own, even if it means sacrificing their own time and well-being. This can lead to a toxic work environment where employees are expected to be available around the clock and work long hours without proper compensation or support.

Another issue with the idea of a company being a family is that it can create a culture of favoritism. When employees are viewed as part of a family, it can be easy for management to show favoritism towards certain individuals, leading to feelings of unfairness and resentment among the rest of the workforce. This can also lead to a lack of transparency and accountability, as employees may be afraid to speak out or challenge the status quo for fear of being ostracized or seen as disloyal.

Furthermore, the concept of a company being a family can also lead to a lack of diversity and inclusion. When a company is viewed as a family, it can create an “insider versus outsider” mentality, where those who do not fit the traditional mold of what it means to be a part of the family may feel excluded or unsupported. This can be particularly harmful for marginalized groups who may already face discrimination and bias in the workplace.

Overall, while the idea of a company being a family may seem appealing, it can ultimately lead to a toxic workplace if not properly managed. It is important for companies to strike a balance between creating a sense of community and belonging among employees while also respecting their boundaries and individuality. This can be achieved through clear communication, transparency, and a commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Legal Options To Be Aware Of

In some instances, the toxic work environment that can result from insistence upon perceiving a company as a “family” may be one in which laws are broken.

For example, maybe you’re a committed employee who nevertheless doesn’t embrace the “family” mentality. If you’re harassed due to this understandable choice, you may find yourself in a toxic work environment.

Or, maybe your employer uses the “we’re a family here” argument as a means of convincing you to work extra hours without extra pay. This is another example of an employer breaking the law under the guise of promoting a positive workplace culture.

If you suspect your employer has violated employment laws, contact an attorney. A Los Angeles employment lawyer at JML Law will review your case and explain what your legal options may be. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 818-610-8800 for a free consultation.

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