In the state of California, employment law forbids sexual harassment and retaliation against employees. Despite this, a large percentage of people report dealing with harassment in the workplace. In many cases, the person who reported the harassment is ignored or, worse, threatened with retaliation. This can make the workplace a toxic, hostile space for employees.
How many employees have experienced sexual harassment?
A recent study revealed that over one-third of employees have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Out of those people, over 70% of them revealed that they’d been threatened with retaliation if they reported the incident. Forms of retaliation include lawsuits and job termination.
Additionally, over half the people in the study revealed that they’d been harassed by a supervisor. Over a third of the people said they’d been fired after reporting the harassment. This study reveals that many victims of sexual harassment are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation. Often, the victims are punished or faced with termination while their abusers are promoted and allowed to harass more employees.
The CEO of the National Women’s Law Center said that these findings reveal the need for stricter laws about workplace sexual harassment. She pointed out that people who commit acts of harassment need to be held accountable instead of being allowed to keep their jobs. She also said that until this happens, the workplace will never be a safe space for all employees.
What’s the best course of action for sexual harassment victims?
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment, your co-workers might be telling you to report it. However, it’s not always that easy. Your supervisor might threaten to fire you or file a lawsuit. As a result, you might want to hire an employment law attorney to help you launch legal action and hold the person accountable.