When you go to work, you have the right to perform your job duties without fear of experiencing different types of mistreatment and harassment. You do not have to be subject to any type of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid. Unfortunately, some West Virginia employees do still experience these types of behaviors in the workplace, often in the form of sexual harassment.
Harassment in the workplace is illegal and uncalled for. It is the responsibility of employers to take the time to cultivate a work environment that is respectful and safe, and they must take claims of sexual harassment seriously. There are also specific steps employers can take that will reduce the chance of these types of events from happening through awareness and empowerment.
The prevention of harassment and other types of mistreatment
The prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace is the morally responsible and legally necessary thing for all employers to do. It is also good for business as it provides employees with a safe environment and makes a company a better place to work. In the effort to increase awareness of sexual harassment and prevent it, the following steps may be helpful:
- Provide employees with sexual harassment training so that they can recognize it, prevent it and know what steps to take if they witness or experience it.
- Establish systems that will make it easier for employees to confidentially report sexual harassment if they experience it in the workplace.
- Ensure that all employees know that they have protection against sexual harassment, regardless of gender, age or other factors.
- Be transparent about how you handle reported incidents, which can ensure victims and others that the employer is on their side.
If an employee experiences sexual harassment and reports it, he or she should be able to do so without fear of retaliation or other consequences.
The rights of victims
For individuals who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, they have the right to speak out. If this happened to you, there are legal steps you can take that will allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable for what you experienced. There are legal steps available to you that will allow you to seek justice and appropriate compensation for mental duress, emotional trauma and even the financial loss you may have experienced.