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The role of coworkers in responding to workplace sexual harassment

Coworkers play a crucial role in preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace. By practicing certain behaviors, they can contribute to a work environment where harassment is less likely to happen.

These behaviors include the following:

Recognizing harassment

It is important for workers to be aware about what constitutes as sexual harassment so they can recognize it when it occurs, whether upon them or upon a coworker. This includes understanding the subtle forms of harassment that may not be as obvious as other acts. This allows them to intervene when they can, preventing the behavior and addressing the harasser.

Reporting incidents and participating in investigations

Since victims may hesitate to do so themselves, coworkers can report incidents of harassment to appropriate authorities within the organization, such as the human resources department. Coworkers can also testify during sexual harassment investigations to ensure the truth prevails and to protect their coworker’s safety.

This act not only helps victims explore their remedies against their harasser, but it also fosters a respectful workplace culture that discourages harassment. Furthermore, it advocates for better policies and training to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace.

Providing support to victims

After witnessing harassment, employees can support their victim coworker by listening to their experience, validating their feelings and providing information how they can report the incident and what resources they can use to cope with the situation.

No one should have to work in an environment where they feel threatened or demeaned. If you are concerned about sexual harassment in your workplace and want to learn more about how to support your colleagues, seeking guidance from an experienced sexual harassment attorney can help you find clarity to your situation.