Workers rely on their jobs to support their families, pay for their homes or apartments and gain knowledge potentially leading to employment opportunities within the company. But all that may collapse if they lose their job.
And losing their jobs often is on their minds if they are victims of discrimination or harassment of any kind in the workplace. This is often the reason for their silence in not reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment. Some choose to continue to be mocked, belittled and bullied on the job and accept such disgusting and illegal behavior than report it.
Retaliation, career concerns
Here are some of the main reasons why discrimination and harassment go unreported in the workplace:
- Fear of retaliation: This could mean a demotion, fewer work hours or working undesirable shifts. Workers also fear suspension and termination. Federal law is on your side. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) declares that it is illegal to harass, fire and demote someone who has filed complaints based on sexual harassment or discrimination.
- Major concerns regarding their career: Fearing termination is a common concern among workplace harassment and discrimination victims. They depend on that paycheck to provide for their families.
- Lack of trust in the system; the uncertainty of resolution: They may not trust their managers or the human resources department to adequately address their complaints of sexual harassment, racial and religious discrimination or other types of harassment and discrimination.
- Not being taken seriously: Some colleagues and managers may dismiss your allegations. In some instances, these are the very people committing harassment and discrimination.
- Fear of gaining the label of a troublemaker: It takes courage to speak up. Some workers do not want the attention and fear ostracization from their coworkers and managers if they report such incidents.
Most companies do take these accusations seriously and promptly investigate incidents of sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind. Still, some companies remain outliers thinking they are infallible and may condone this illegal behavior. It is crucial for workers to have the courage to take on these companies.