How employees can help prevent harassment in the workplace

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.

Those who see a coworker being harassed can prevent further harm from occurring by saying something. By saying something as a harasser is making inappropriate comments or advances shows the harasser and the person being harassed that others are aware inappropriate behavior is happening and that it is not viewed positively. Another way employees can help prevent future harassment is to speak up even when targeted coworkers are not present. For example, if male employees are speaking inappropriately about a female coworker, calling them out can have a positive effect.

Before an incident of harassment is reported to the employer, employees may first decide to talk to the person being harassed first. This way, the employees can let the harassed employee have a say in how the incident is dealt with while knowing that he or she has others in his or her corner. The incident should then be reported to the higher-ups.

When sexual harassment occurs on a daily basis at work, or the work environment encourages harassment, the workplace can quickly become a hostile one. The employer is responsible for preventing workplace harassment; however, there are cases where the harassed employee is punished with worse work hours or even terminated. If a victim of harassment is punished or loses his or her job, an attorney may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer. This lawsuit can help the employee seek lost income and benefits.

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