Workplace harassment remains a problem in Texas and across the U.S. NAVEX Global released the 2020 Athletics and Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report, which shows a reduction in the number of workplace harassment situations. The report also shows a 13% increase in case closures. According to the NAVEX Global chief risk and compliance officer, the increase in closed cases is based on 45 days, but the most accurate closure analysis would use 30 to 32 days.
The reduced number of instances could reflect several possibilities, including organizational improvements, a return to the standard baseline or a reluctance on the part of good-faith reporters to step forward. According to the NAVEX report, 31% of individuals report workplace harassment within nine days. However, 20% of the 2020 cases were reported to HR 60 days or longer after the harassment occurred. Fear of retaliation, lack of awareness and limited access to reporting systems can make it more challenging for HR to effectively complete an investigation.
The decline in harassment cases may initially sound positive, but a problem exists. Human resource departments play a role in the reduction and mediation of workplace harassment. HR departments may not know what to ask workers who file complaints, or they may not be aware know or communicate the company’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies.
NAVEX researchers have noted that there is no reason to think workplace harassment has gone away. Victims of workplace harassment need to understand their legal rights. HR must demonstrate to senior management that harassment creates social and financial implications, and hiding problems is harmful. HR must provide training, design and enforce strong workplace harassment policies and quickly hold wrongdoers accountable. HR should also thoroughly investigate each complaint.
Experienced workplace harassment attorneys may offer professional legal assistance to workers who are experiencing workplace discrimination, a hostile work environment, safety concerns, sexual harassment or bias. A workplace harassment lawyer works to ensure that employees are treated fairly in the workplace and that HR correctly addresses the problem. Employees may request the help of a workplace harassment lawyer when they experience injustice at work.