Newly hired employees in Florida likely receive information about sexual harassment during their initial training and then hear about it very little after that. A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management identified a lack of awareness among employees as a reason for not reporting sexual harassment. The survey questioned both human resource professionals and non-management employees. Although 94 percent of HR professionals knew about their employers’ sexual harassment policies, 22 percent of rank-and-file employees did not know about the policies.
The society’s director of workforce analytics suggested that infrequent training about sexual harassment prevented employees from understanding it or knowing how to report it. The chief executive officer of the society said that workplaces could develop a culture that condones harassment by not consistently training people about their responsibility to respect each other. He added that company leaders should address the topic frequently to reinforce the message that people can report their problems and have them taken seriously.
The most common workplace behaviors reported by people were verbal harassment and unwanted sexual advances. The survey indicated that 32 percent of companies had updated their sexual harassment policies in the past year, but fear of retaliation persists as a leading reason that victims fail to come forward.
Although a person experiencing mistreatment at work has the right to report it to an employer, a conversation with an attorney might shed light on how to address the problem. When a person seeks out sexual harassment legal assistance, they may learn how to gather evidence about lewd comments and sex discrimination. An attorney may be able to organize the information and communicate the complaint to the employer. If an employer does not conduct an adequate investigation, an attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit.