An Explainer on Sexual Harassment Laws In The U.S.

HR leaders must create supportive and open environments where employees feel safe to report any inappropriate conduct and where everyone understands the rules and norms around acceptable behavior. Training is also the domain of HR; harassment prevention courses are recommended everywhere and required by some state laws.

The consequences of failing to prevent harassment can be severe for individuals and companies alike. The victims of harassment may suffer negative mental and physical health impacts, along with reduced career opportunities. The companies may end up paying in more ways than one, with limited productivity and morale combined with a substantial price tag. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) collected $56.6 million from harassment cases in the 2018 fiscal year, and the Institute for Women’s Policy research noted the EEOC only intervenes in a small number of cases, and the true cost of harassment complaints is much higher.