Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights
Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights

Workplace harassment: Silence isn’t the solution

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Employment Law

Imagine walking into your workplace, a space where you should feel motivated and safe, only to be met with unwanted comments, stares or even touches.

For many, this isn’t just a disturbing scenario but an upsetting reality. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a pervasive issue that often remains shrouded in silence. However, one person’s experience, while deeply personal, is rarely isolated. Instead, it can often signify a larger, systemic problem that thrives in environments where inappropriate behavior goes unchecked.

What does harassment look like?

Harassment isn’t always overt and obvious. More commonly, misconduct is subtle or carried out in private. For instance, it can take the form of an insidious comment that a colleague whispers during a meeting, or the unwelcome touch disguised as a ‘friendly’ pat on the back during a one-on-one meeting.

It’s crucial to understand that whether workplace harassment is subtle or overt, it is illegal. Every individual has the right to a workplace free from discrimination and discomfort. Federal and state laws are in place to protect these rights.

Raising your voice: A ripple effect

Speaking up about sexual harassment can be daunting. Fear of retaliation or dismissal often silences victims. In some cases, a perpetrator makes threats or promises to keep victims quiet about illegal harassment.

However, breaking that silence is imperative. When one person steps forward, it paves the way for others to do the same, creating a ripple effect that can transform the workplace.

By voicing your experiences, you not only stand up for your rights but also protect your colleagues from future misconduct. Your reporting could uncover systemic issues like weak policies, inadequate training and problematic leadership, all of which allow harassment to persist.

Getting help to protect your rights

If you’re facing sexual harassment at work, know that you do not have to face this situation alone. You can work with an attorney to take action against offending parties and non-compliant employers. Doing so can protect yourself and others who may be experiencing harassment at work, as well.