With the MeToo movement in full force, companies of all sizes are scrambling to update their sexual harassment and discrimination policies. Adding or improving employee training courses are also a new priority. A sexual harassment charge can fatally damage a company’s reputation.
Harvard Business Review published the results of a recent study on how sexual harassment can affect a company’s image. Study participants indicated that a sexual harassment claim against a company was very detrimental to that company’s image. Interestingly, it was deemed to be worse than a financial transgression, such as embezzlement or monetary fraud. People felt that financial misconduct was the fault of a single employee or a small group, while sexual harassment was indicative of poor company culture.
Psychological Trauma to Employees
Companies are affected by sexual harassment, but there can be dire consequences for the employee. When the harassment first occurs, the victim may not know how to react. Speaking out can be frightening if they are concerned about retaliation, embarrassment, or being fired. Every company has a different culture, and there are still many that do not have up-to-date policies or proper communication channels for reporting and resolving discrimination and abuse.
There can also be long-lasting psychological effects after the harassment has stopped. According to a University of Oregon psychology professor, any common form of emotional or psychological distress can be experienced after sexual harassment. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression; all of which may not be properly diagnosed.
Three types of psychological syndromes can result from sexual harassment. They include betrayal trauma, betrayal blindness, and institutional betrayal. It starts when an employee trusts a supervisor, does not confront them, and the company does not take steps to correct the situation. These create feelings of mistrust and substantial risks for the employee’s well-being.
If a victim is suffering psychologically, physical symptoms are likely to follow. The stress can cause sleeping and eating problems, which makes it hard to go to work or even apply for a new job. In some cases, the employee quits to leave the hostile work environment and the abuser, while others may be fired. In any case, they may be unable to use the former employer as a reference, leading to grim financial challenges.
Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Companies need to respond swiftly to sexual harassment claims because it benefits the employee as well as the employer. If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, contact a Delaware County sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.