When you experience sexual harassment at work it may do more than impact your productivity. It may also lead to emotional or mental health issues. If you speak out about it, it may even result in retaliation or termination.
According to the Mercury News, a large percentage of employees who file sexual harassment claims against their employers wind up having their employers fire them. More than 64% of workers who made sexual harassment claims in their places of business underwent termination within a year of doing so.
Retaliation after sexual harassment claims
Retaliation, which occurs when an employer treats you differently in response to you exercising one of your protected rights, is also quite common after a sexual harassment claim. More than 68% of employees who file such claims experience retaliation in some form after filing complaints.
While having your position terminated may constitute retaliation, it may also present itself in other ways. You may start receiving unfavorable job duties, or you may find yourself demoted in the aftermath of a sexual harassment claim, among other examples.
Harassment often unreported
Research shows that the vast majority of sexual harassment that occurs within the American workforce goes unreported. This may be due, at least in part, to the fact that many employees fear termination or retaliation after calling attention to the harassment. Current estimates suggest that about 99.8% of sexual harassment victims fail to file formal charges against their harassers.
No one should scare you away from reporting sexual harassment in your place of business. By shining a spotlight on it, you may be able to help protect your colleagues and others who come after you from experiencing the same behavior.