It’s like the elephant in the room. In fact, it’s a concern writ large in virtually every American workplace, regardless of type and size.
On-the-job sexual harassment has admittedly and always been an employment-linked concern. And it has been so endemic in the job sphere that it can seem to be an intractable commonplace.
Consider this: Findings from a recent survey questioning many hundreds of workers across the country troublingly reveal that an estimated one-third of the national workforce has suffered workplace harassment. And half of that misconduct has targeted workers because of their gender/sex.
Such a finding clearly spells major concerns for both workers and employers nationally, including in Connecticut. A toxic work atmosphere breeds employees’ fears and unquestionably ratchets up the potential for both workplace violence and dampened productivity. The national publication Claims Journal additionally stresses that employers failing to take strong remedial action against misconduct “face steep financial, reputational and workforce consequence.”
Proactive and consistently applied company policies can obviously make great inroads against sexual harassment, but they are not uniformly implemented nationally. Reportedly, about half of all relatively small businesses across the United States (entities with fewer than 200 workers) lack relevant training programs at all.
That is certainly a dismal finding, but recent momentum swings in the public mood signal what the Claim Journal calls a “changing mindset around harassment.” New social pressures, coupled with formal movements like the #MeToo initiative, are apparently driving workplace change; more employees are beginning to speak up about misconduct, and growing numbers of companies are crafting anti-harassment programs.
The topic is firmly a front-burner concern these days in the employment law realm. We will continue to keep readers duly informed of key news and developments that arise.