Indiana residents may be surprised to learn that more than one-third of Native Americans report that they have experienced race-based slurs, harassment, violence and discrimination in the workplace, according to a new survey. The survey was administered on behalf of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Recent allegations made against powerful people in entertainment and politics have shone new light on sexual harassment across all industries and in all states, including Indiana. An outgrowth of the newfound focus on workplace sexual misconduct is the "me too" campaign, which has provided a platform for men and women to come forward with details of their experiences working in diverse work environments. Companies large and small have and do face legal actions based on the manner in which they handle sexual harassment cases.
Allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood may be getting the attention of the mainstream media at the moment. However, the lessons learned in those cases could be helpful for Indiana employers. Ideally, when a worker reports an incident of sexual harassment, his or her employer will work to resolve the situation properly instead of trying to make it go away. Investigations should be prompt, thorough and properly documented regardless of the nature of the harassment.
Although sexual harassment does occur in workplaces, not everyone is actively involved. There are sometimes witnesses who have observed the harassment or have heard of incidents occurring. Indiana employees can help prevent future incidents by taking action.