Step 7: Consequences

Sexual harassment can have detrimental effects on a team, organization, or work environment. The consequences of sexual harassment can range in severity and can affect everyone:

  • A breakdown of working relationships
  • Lowering of workers health
  • Increased turnover and/or absenteeism
  • Lower morale
  • Loss of productivity
  • Lawsuits, which could cost a substantial amount of money

Example

A staff member in administration is known for his "off-color" jokes. While some people find them humorous, others are offended and feel disrespected due to the professional nature of the office. The office supervisor, however, does not like conflict so she has never confronted him, causing some staff members to blame her for the problem. A new staff member, Jacob, is very offended by these jokes. He goes to the supervisor and complains, but she does nothing. So Jacob goes to her supervisor to complain. After a month, no action is taken, and Jacob files a lawsuit against the administration. Now the supervisor may lose her job, and the company is forced to take legal action.