The Fight Against Sexual Harassment at Work
Sexual harassment may occur anywhere, any time. All kinds of people have fallen victim to it — men, women, gay, famous, ordinary. Some victims don’t come forward out of fear of victim blaming.
In some cases, victims stay quiet to protect their careers or reputation in school or the workplace. A report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showed that 2/3 of victims of workplace sexual harassment who spoke out “experienced subsequent retaliation.” Preventing this incident requires efforts from both the employees and employers.
The Role of Labor Unions
An organization should be a safe place for all employees to air work-related issues. A union arbitration, which Littleton Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. says can help resolve workplace concerns, can be a platform for victims of sexual harassment. In an arbitration, employees have the opportunity to confront the management about sex-based discrimination and take legal actions if necessary.
Some companies conduct sexual harassment seminars yearly. It does not work. Employers should conduct seminars more often. This is the time to educate workers about the effects of sexual harassment on victims, including depression, anxiety, and resignation.
The seminars should discuss strict company policies on sexual harassment and the corresponding punishment for perpetrators. During the sessions, don’t tell victims to be careful not to get harassed. Instead, tell everyone not to harass anyone. The forum can also be used to ask for proposals to make the workplace safer and happier for everyone.
Employers must provide free psychological consultation to make sure their employees are mentally healthy. A psychological evaluation may help victims to communicate their experiences. It also allows victims to determine if the workplace is still healthy for them. Evaluations are usually confidential, but a general assessment can help the management determine problems in the workplace.
Despite The Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is still widespread. The management should intensify punishment for harassers. Everyone else should campaign persistently against sexual harassment until all sexual predators are out of business. Silence enables predators; resistance drives them away.