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Are employees afraid to report workplace sexual harassment?

Several of our previous blog posts have addressed the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment, sexual abuse and the impact of these behaviors in the workplace. It seems that this conversation will be front-and-center in the national consciousness for the foreseeable future, which many Minnesotans believe is good for the prospect of advancing workers' rights across the country. But, there may still be one very simple barrier: employees might still be afraid to report workplace sexual harassment.

At least that is what a recent report states, which was based on a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management. According to the new report, of all of the employees who participated in the survey, the vast majority of those who said that they had been the victim of harassment in the workplace did not report the workplace harassment. So, the question becomes, "Why not?"

Well, according to the survey and the recent report, there may be a divide in the perception of how frequent sexual harassment is in certain workplaces. Management-level employees in the survey reported that they believed sexual harassment was "rare," but non-management employees did not agree. When it comes to sexual harassment, the employees reported that verbal harassment was the most common form of harassment.

Perhaps, the recent movement that is shedding light on workplace sexual harassment will change these results. Employees in Minnesota who have been victimized in the workplace need to know that they have legal rights. Under state or federal law, they may be able to hold the perpetrators of this type of conduct accountable in court.

Source: Bloomberg Business, "Employees Say They're Still Afraid to Report Sexual Harassment," Jeff Green, Feb. 1, 2018

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