As sexual harassment remains prevalent in the workplace, researchers are starting to focus on the role that witnesses play in reporting incidents. A recent survey of more than 1,000 employees found that 79 percent had witnessed discrimination or sexual harassment at work within the past five years.
Witnessing sexual harassment is a negative event, which makes people unhappy even when they are not the victims. Telling someone else about the harassment stirs up unpleasant emotions, making others unhappy as well. In a team-oriented work culture, spreading negativity is counter productive. However, failure to report harassment is worse. According to researchers, sexual harassment infects company culture, making the entire workplace toxic. The effects reach far beyond the targeted victim.
The solution is for companies to create better methods for reporting harassment. Researchers also found that some witnesses did not report incidents because they worried about retaliation. Others were simply unsure about the reporting process. The majority indicated that they would have reported the harassment if they had an online reporting tool that guaranteed their anonymity. The researchers concluded that empowering witnesses to report incidents anonymously online may help create safer, more inclusive working environments.
If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed on the job, seek the advice of a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We will explain your rights and obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation today. From our offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.