When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to understand that sexual harassment can have detrimental effects on victims and those who witness the sexual harassment. The impact can go very deep and can have further reach than many people and organizations anticipate. That is why it is important for organizations, victims and witnesses to acts of sexual harassment to take swift action to put a stop to inappropriate behavior and illegal mistreatment of sexual harassment victims.
The Impacts of Sexual Harassment On A Worker
Workers who have been victimized by sexual harassment in the office can attest to the fact that sexual harassment can have a serious and direct impact on a worker, especially when the victim is a woman and the harasser is a man. By way of example, sexual harassment in the workplace can:
- Affect a worker’s ability to focus or concentrate.
- Impact a worker’s quality of work.
- Negatively impact a worker’s emotional state or sense of safety in the workplace.
- Take a toll on the worker’s physical health since the stress of being harassed can have physical manifestations.
- Cause a worker to avoid work, such as dropping overtime hours, taking leave or not working without leave in order to avoid his or her harasser at work.
- Compromise a worker’s willingness to work with his or her harasser.
- Affect a worker’s sleep.
- Cause a victim worker to withdraw from work and his or her co-workers.
- Cause the victim worker to quit his or her job.
- Reduce a worker’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth or morale.
Sexual Harassment Can Have Secondary Victims
But harm is not limited to just the victim. Other employees and co-workers who witness the sexual harassment, or suspect it, can be vexed by what they know or have seen. This turns them into secondary, or unintended victims of sexual harassment. These secondary victims might want to help the primary victim, but might feel compelled not to get involved for some reason. This can leave the secondary victim feeling guilty, especially if the secondary victim is a woman, who witnessed another woman being sexually harassed by a male harasser. Witnessing sexual harassment can also leave witnesses feeling like their employer isn’t doing enough to help protect workers and hurt morale.
Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real problem and victims should not have to stand for it. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline can help you file a sexual harassment claim, and can assist you with any other employment law issues you may be facing. Contact our Chicago, Illinois sexual harassment lawyer today for a free consultation regarding your specific circumstances.