Victims of sexual misconduct now have a louder voice because of the MeToo movement. As countless figureheads in a variety of industries have been called out for their inappropriate behavior, it has encouraged many others to fight back against their workplace harassers.
Unfortunately, there are still some who feel hesitant disclosing their mistreatment to Human Resources. That’s because they fear the department may ignore their complaints, especially if it’s against an influential figure in the company. According to a study, 75% of victims said they experienced retaliation after reporting their mistreatment at work.
Luckily, there are other methods employees can use to get their message across.
When HR doesn’t help
These are some actions workers can take:
- Document the inappropriate actions: Cases of sexual harassment can be challenging to pursue. But with a clear and well-organized claim supported with evidence, victims can better present their situation to trusted superiors or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Examine company policy regarding sexual misconduct: Here in New York, workplaces are required to provide sexual harassment policies and training for their employees. If a worker falls victim to such misconduct, they can check their employee handbook to see if HR and other leaders are following through on its guidelines.
- Talk to a trusted manager: Depending on the circumstances, employees may feel comfortable going to their supervisor about their case. However, if an employee gets fired for reporting the incident, they can take legal action against the employer for violating state whistleblower laws.
Victims can fight back
Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace for their employees. When workers fall victim to sexual harassment and have their claims ignored, it can lower their morale and make them feel unsafe. In these instances, victims may want to seek legal help; their case may be strong enough to file a claim.