Many people in Minneapolis-St. Paul would like to think that sexual harassment in the workplace is no longer a problem; that men and women are able to work comfortably with each other in the office. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to plague Minnesota workplaces and offices across the country, but a new report also indicates that the victims of sexual harassment are also likely to be ridiculed by coworkers.
The reason why colleagues are likely to ridicule coworkers who are sexually harassed, is because most people predict that they would report office abuse. So, when someone doesn't report that a boss makes inappropriate advances, tells sexually explicit jokes, or insists that someone trade sexual favors for advancement, the assumption is that he or she is not standing up for him- or herself. This new study shows, however, that many people will not, in fact, deal with sexual harassers.
If individuals were more realistic about their own chances of standing up to sexual harassment, it is possible that they would not be so critical of those that don't. Not only are colleagues ready to talk poorly about their colleagues who will not confront sexual harassment, but they are also unwilling to recommend them for a job and otherwise criticize them.
Sadly, these kinds of situations occur all too often. Bosses and coworkers sometimes believe that they have free reign over other people in the office, leading to sexual harassment. Though it may be difficult, it is important to work with an employment law attorney to determine what legal options are available and to take the next steps toward correcting a dangerous situation.
Source: Business News, "Why Unreported Sexual Harassment Can Bring Ridicule," Chad Brooks, Nov. 6, 2012
No employee should have to live with sexual harassment. It is not only illegal, but it also can cause tremendous problems for workers. If you want to learn more about unwanted advances in the workplace, please visit our Minneapolis sexual harassment page.