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What constitutes a "hostile workplace"?

(This happened in Florida) I'm told the only time a company can be sued for "hostile work environment" is when someone is fired for being of a certain sex, race, age, etc. So what's the solution (other than just quitting, obviously) for the following situation:

The company's PTO policy is that PTO is taken in blocks of 8 hours. In other words, if you take 30 minutes to run an errand, 8 hours comes out of your reserve. You are given the opportunity to make up time, but if you can only work an extra 7 hours, you do not get 7 hours of PTO back. It's 8 or nothing.

The situation: The company does not require uniforms or special attire. There is no written or verbal rule about skirt length. The company doesn't even see the public, so they could literally do their jobs in pajamas. However, a manager decides one day that a worker's skirt (hits just at the knee, worn in offices every day. Shorter skirts are worn by others) is 'too short', and sends the worker, who lives an hour away, to change clothes. So the worker is gone 2+ hours. However, due to childcare constraints, the worker doesn't stand a chance of making up the hours.

The manager, however 'runs errands' on the clock. Using the excuse of running out for supplies or to the bank (30 minutes for the average person) to take nearly the entire day to do whatever.

This is habitual. The manager is a close friend of the owner of the company, who gives special attention to workers he likes, and makes a point to apply "special rules" to those he doesn't. The manager's job is to carry out the "special rules".

Bonus question: "Badmouthing your employer" is a advised as a big no-no in a job interview. Why? What reason does one give for leaving a boss like this? Isn't this also the reason why employers like this are allowed to continue to abuse people?