State and federal laws protect Florida employees from certain types of treatment in the workplace. Despite these laws, sexual harassment can be a serious problem for many. It’s much more than an inconvenience. It can actually lead to serious mental health struggles, including an increased chance of experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors. This type of harassment has also been linked to physical symptoms, like sicknesses that can cause missed days from work.
It’s been understood that sexual harassment can lead to physical problems, but it’s psychological impact is grave as well. A recent study found a strong connection between those who experienced unwanted sexual advances and contact at work and suicidal tendencies. These findings underscore the fact that harassment is not just bad behavior, immaturity or an unfortunate occurrence. It is actually a direct threat to a victim’s mental health and even his or her life.
The study concluded that no workplace is safe where sexual harassment occurs. Results indicate that an individual who is exposed to this type of treatment experienced a 2.82 times higher chance of suicide and a 1.59 times greater chance of actually attempting suicide. Victims likely need mental health care and other types of support.
If a Florida employee experiences sexual harassment in the workplace, he or she has the right to speak out about this experience. Employers should believe victims and provide them with the support they need to address their physical and mental concerns. They should also work to ensure this type of behavior stops. In some cases, victims of harassment have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim.