The Ethical Effects Of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

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Sexual harassment in the workplace is an action that holds consequence for relationships, both directly and indirectly, affected by the act of the harassment. As illustrated by Dan Defoe, sexual harassment “harms the target of the mistreatment,” as well as “the non-targets who observe or perceive hostile behavior directed at coworkers.” When taking into consideration the scope of sexual harassment within an organization, upper management, Human Resources, and individual employees must be mindful of the overarching consequences associated with it. The act of sexual harassment has an effect on workplace relationships through the credibility of both parties involved, the community of the employee base, and the relationship between the company …show more content…
Although it is an unwelcomed loss of trust of the employee being harassed, coworkers may begin to delve into the history of the employee’s accomplishments and question what was truly earned and what could have developed under less ethical circumstances. Alongside a loss of trust, colleagues can also begin to develop feelings of resentment towards the employee based on any special privileges they may have been receiving during the stent of harassment. While these two situations may be less likely, they can become realities for many individuals caught in this situation. A more likely loss of credibility for the individual being harassed can be seen through the emotional and mental turmoil they may be experiencing. “Self-esteem, professional growth, stress, health, and even mental health issues may occur in the aftermath” (Woodard, 2010) which can create a bias from the employee base affecting the work the victim can produce. In the end, the consequences can lead to an employee losing satisfaction in their job and ultimately higher job burnout (Defoe, …show more content…
As many companies strive to create a friendly environment, this interwoven connection of employee and personal life can work as a catalyst to workplace gossip. With interaction of such harassment, employees can begin to speak regarding the matter with, or without, the victim involved. These topics of communication can begin to cause controversy amongst the employees, upper managements actions, and the steps the HR department is taking to handle the situation. With only 29% of victims reporting acts of sexual harassment, the process of defining those involved and intervening prior to public knowledge becomes nearly impossible (Vagianos). As stated above, when there is lack of trust between the employee base and both the harassed and the individual harassing, work amongst peers can become difficult and can tend to move slower than

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