In the face of workplace challenges, protections are available

Workers suffering in an unsafe workplace and with sexual harassment are legally protected. A recent study of 3,066 workers finds that one in five workers reports experiencing a hostile or threatening workplace environment that can include sexual harassment. Researchers for the study reported concerns about the high number of workers who reported working in hostile workplaces. In addition, nearly 55 percent reported dealing with potentially hazardous conditions.

The in-depth study found that, overall, the workplace is not a positive place for many. Other concerns raised include the inability to take breaks when desired. Toxic workplaces may be having an impact on the number of workers returning to the workplace. The study was conducted in 2015 and also found some bright spots for workers in its findings but, overall, researchers expressed some concerns.

Workers who are suffering sexual harassment in the workplace have legal protections available to help them. Depending on the nature of the sexual harassment, and if a hostile work environment has been created, different options are available to help workers with the concerns they may understandably have. It is important for workers to keep in mind that they are legally protected and do not have to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace.

Workers have the right to expect a safe workplace and when that has been threatened, for a variety of reasons or because of various workplace conditions, legal remedies are in place to ensure they are protected. When an employer has failed to provide a safe workplace, it is important that workers are familiar with how to utilize the resources available to them.

Source: Providence Journal, "One-fifth of Americans find workplace hostile or threatening," Paul Wiseman, Aug. 14, 2017

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