About Workplace Harassment
Employees who say they've witness inappropriate/illegal behavior on the job
Employees who reported the inappropriate behavior
Employees who fear retaliation for reporting harassment
Employees who believe harssment reports won't be handled fairly
The Effects of Harassment in the Workplace
Disrespectful workplaces in which harassment and other forms of discrimination are allowed to occur cause harm not only to the individuals involved, but to the organization as well.
In fiscal year 2020, the EEOC received 24,221 formal complaints involving various kinds of workplace harassment, including charges of sexual harassment. While the agency has jurisdiction over most employers with at least 15 employees (20 employees in age discrimination cases) and most labor unions and employment agencies, the complaints the EEOC receives represent only a fraction of the harassment issues that continue to plague workplaces. A 2020 study reported that only 20% of analyzed harassment claims were reported to the EEOC.
Individuals who are victims or witnesses of harassment and other kinds of discrimination, some types of potential damage can include physical harm, mental trauma and anguish (such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety), negative impacts on career and professional growth (including job loss, increased absenteeism, and disengagement), decreased productivity and performance, emotional and financial damage for family members, and much more.
Organizations that fail to act when harassment is observed or reported may see their employer brand suffer; a decline in the ability to attract and retain top talent; and decreases in employee engagement, productivity, morale, teamwork, collaboration, and other critical functions. Ultimately, companies can experience significant reductions in overall performance and loss of customers.