This is the most bizarre work environment I've ever been in. There are 12 of us in the dept. One V.P. and 2 managers under her. The rest all worker bees. There are about 350 employees total on site.
This V.P. has a "unspoken policy" (you find out soon enough) that there should be no social interaction at all between anyone in the office unless it's directly related to your job. This means "Hello" and "Goodbye" is the extent of any social exchanges that are allowed to take place. It's like being in a library or a funeral home it's so quiet.
This V.P. sent out an email last month to everyone in our dept. It said, "I need to ask each of you that if you want to socialize or talk to your co workers you'll need to go outside on your break to talk. I don't want to have to be a babysitter, so I need for each of you to monitor yourselves and keep conversations to a bare minimum so that no further action is required."
I have witnessed her numerous times approach others in the office that may be standing at a coworker's desk (even for just a few minutes) and ask them, "Is this talking work related?" This happened to me last week when I was answering a question my coworker had asked me.
Can this be considered a "hostile work environment" or a violation of employee rights?? This woman is a tyrant. The turnover is tremendous. The average hire will quit after 3 months.