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Why do some employees fail to report instances of harassment?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Discrimination And Harassment

Running a business in New Jersey can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. However, problems can occur in the workplace, especially when employees are subjected to or witnesses to discrimination and harassment. Sometimes, employees may not even feel safe reporting such abuses. It’s important to know why.

They fear repercussions

Whether an employee is a victim of workplace discrimination and harassment or witnesses it, one of the most common reasons why he or she may not report it is fear. The individual may fear that he or she will face retaliation by the abuser or even by his or her supervisor. The employee may even fear that his or her job is in jeopardy if he or she reports the issue.

Uncertainty about the behavior

In some cases, an employee may fail to report the behavior simply because he or she is unsure whether it constitutes harassment or discrimination. The person may think it’s all in his or her head and that the behavior isn’t really as bad as he or she thinks.

Embarrassment

Victims of workplace discrimination and harassment often don’t report the conduct due to embarrassment. It can be difficult, and even awkward, to go to human resources and report such behavior. This is especially true if an employee doesn’t even know the HR representative or simply has seen him or her in passing.

The victim believes he or she can ignore it

If someone is facing inappropriate behavior at work, he or she may believe he or she can ignore it and that it will stop. Sadly, that’s usually not the case, and the abusive behavior continues.

The employee thinks he or she won’t be believed

Another common reason why employees don’t report harassment and discrimination in the workplace is that they think they won’t be believed. They may think the person they report it to will tell them they’re exaggerating the behavior, flat-out deny that it even happened or defend the abuser.

Toxic work environment

If the work environment is already toxic, an employee will probably want to avoid reporting an incident as a result. He or she may believe that rocking the boat can make things even worse and cause an even more uncomfortable situation at work.

Help for workplace harassment victims

No matter what you may think, it is never acceptable to have to work somewhere where you fear for your safety, both physical and mental. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should consult with an attorney so that you can protect your rights.

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