You feel like your work environment in Texas is unbearably toxic. Sexual harassment is widespread and goes on there routinely. It is distracting, demeaning and infuriating. Morale has slumped badly. Being proud of what you do and accomplish there has become increasingly difficult.
You and your co-workers are always being subjected to inappropriate behavior from others. Management and human resources have shown no leadership by allowing this situation to go on without intervening to stop it.
You are tempted to speak up. Sometimes you even think about ways to organize your colleagues so you can complain as one unified, adamant group about the misconduct in your office.
Still, many issues are holding all of you back from making your gripes official. It might impact your professional reputation or scuttle your chances for advancement in the organization. You could face brutal public scrutiny of your whole life that would make anyone cringe.
Does a policy or law exist that compelling you to report sexual harassment?
It’s an interesting question with a definite answer. According to CNN Business, “There is no federal law that requires victims, confidants or witnesses to report instances of harassment on the job. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, of course.”
There is one key twist for those in leadership roles
“Supervisors are another matter,” states the CNN Business article. “Courts have ruled that once someone in a supervisory role is alerted to allegations, the company is obligated to take steps to promptly end the harassment.”
Deciding whether to report or not
Think about it – the dictates of your conscience versus the mounting toxicity of your workplace. Those factors, plus others, need to be weighed when you choose between acting to halt sexual harassers or enduring the status quo. If you do act, you may want to seek guidance about the correct procedure. You need to also protect your legal interests.