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Employers can do more to fight sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2018 | Hostile Work Environment

The #MeToo movement has thrown a spotlight on workplace sexual harassment, an all-too-common experience for many women on the job in Florida. The news stories about high-profile celebrities, politicians and others involved in harassing their co-workers, assistants and fellow stars have drawn attention to the ongoing struggles faced by women in jobs of all kinds. The national discussion has also led many organizations and companies to look for solutions to the problem, as sexual harassment training programs have been shown to be somewhat ineffective.

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have researched sexual harassment on the job, with a special focus on academia. Following their two-year study, NASEM released a report with recommendations to organizations about how they can decrease the likelihood of sexual harassment on the job. One of their most effective suggestions was also one of the simplest, recommending that employers carry out a climate study among employees. The report argues that creating a climate that stamps out sexual harassment requires an understanding of the current climate in which employees operate.

The survey can question employees about the types of harassment they have experienced or witnessed on the job, and can highlight issues about the types and frequency of sexual harassment in a workplace. Rather than creating a solution that responds generally to harassment issues, an effective employer response targets the real problems in the office. Such surveys can also provide valuable data that indicates whether corporate programs targeting harassment are successful.

Unfortunately, many employers put more effort into covering up the problem and even retaliating against victims who complain instead of working hard to put an end to harassing behavior. People dealing with a Boca Raton, Florida, hostile workplace may benefit from consulting with an employment lawyer about the actions they can take to protect their rights and seek compensation for the damages they have suffered.