Consequences of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace affect everyone, not just those involved. From a company standpoint, they may lose employees due to the hostile environment; if current employees feel as though the situation could happen again or that retaliation could happen (to, for example, friends or co-workers of the victim), they may not want to work for such a troubled company. There is also the image of the company itself. If the company did not do anything to help the victim or worse, shielded the harasser, their public image may suffer. Clients, stockholders, and employees will not want to have anything to do with the company or their business.
Employees who may not have endured the harassment are still affected. As mentioned above, if an employee feels as though the working environment has become hostile, they may begin to look for work elsewhere. Female employees may be the first of those to leave, as they may feel that the situation doesn't seem to be handled in the way that would resolve the problem.
The obvious consequence of sexual harassment in the workplace is placed on the victim of the harassment. Aside from the hostile working environment, the victim can also experience personal issues. Self-esteem, professional growth, stress, health, and even mental health issues may occur in the aftermath. Even if the victim leaves the company in which they experienced the harassment, they may have difficulties securing another position or they may view co-workers or superiors with suspicion, endangering the work relationship.
Victims of sexual harassment or any type of harassment should report it to the proper authorities. Find what your company's policy is on workplace harassment, what your rights are, and how to go about filing a report. If you need to seek legal action, find out what needs to be done in your particular state and city.