The risks of reporting workplace harassment

Some Indiana employees may be unsure of what to do if they witness sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, reporting sexual harassment on behalf of other employees can carry several risks. One man who reported seeing harassment in his workplace was demoted and then fired.

The man's boss had made lewd comments about female employees and often yelled at them in meetings. The women told the man that their boss made them feel unsafe, but they felt as though their jobs would be in jeopardy if they complained. The man then went to human resources about the issue. Human resources claimed that they conducted an investigation and then closed it; however, nothing changed. The man was then demoted and terminated, allegedly for poor performance. He said that he struggled to find a job afterward and that his health and financial situation suffered.

This type of retaliation is not unusual in cases of harassment and discrimination. Experts advise people to document any harassment as thoroughly as possible including writing down incidents with a time and date stamp. However, it is believed that around two-thirds of people who experience harassment do not report it.

Sexual harassment may take a number of different forms, including unwanted sexual advances, sexual innuendo and offensive sexual comments. An employee who is facing this type of work environment might want to speak to an attorney about how to best document and report the situation. If the employee is fired in retaliation, it might be possible to file a lawsuit against the employer and recover lost wages and other damages.

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