Sexual harassment is a problem in the workplace and it creates hostility. It is imperative that all employers take steps to ensure that the company is free of all types of harassment. Not only does this make the business compliant with the law so that workers can do their jobs without being placed in an unnecessarily stressful environment, it also helps to shore up the economy. Sexual harassment victims lose around 973,000 hours in leave that is unpaid annually. The overall cost is around $4.4 million per year in this country.
There are several things that everyone should remember about sexual harassment. There doesn't have to be any actual physical contact for a person to be a victim. It is also possible to be a victim of sexual harassment if you are only a witness to someone else being sexually harassed. However, you might not have the same legal rights and claims as the primary victim.
Anyone can be a victim or harasser
Gone are the days when it was assumed that only men were the harassers and women were the victims. Now, it is known that anyone can fill either role. The harasser doesn't necessarily have to be a co-worker either. Clients, vendors, supervisors and owners can also be the person who is acting in a lewd manner.
Effects are far-reaching
The effects of sexual harassment are far-reaching. Even one incident can have a negative impact on workplace morale. It can lead to lowered productivity, as well as reducing the pleasantness of client interactions. The emotional toll that it takes on the victim is considerable, and this can extend to co-workers and clients who are around the worker. It is possible that the victim will be unable to perform their duties because they are too worried about being harassed again.
Any worker who is a victim of sexual harassment in Colorado has the right to speak up. They have the right to insist that the behavior stop and that protocols are put in place to prevent future episodes. At no point should an employer blame the victim for being harassed. Instead, they should immediately separate the victim and the alleged harasser while conducting an investigation. Retaliation for the incident should never be a factor for the victim, regardless of the status of the person who harassed them.