Study examines workplace harassment, discrimination

Even though three-quarters of employees surveyed by the company Randstad US said they believed it was important for men to speak up about gender equality in the workplace, half of those surveyed also said they did not do so after a colleague said something that was not appropriate about another employee. Some Arizona workers may also be among the almost half who said their workplace did not offer mentoring or leadership programs tailored for women employees.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,200 workers, also found that almost 25 percent of women said they had suffered setbacks in their career because of rejecting a supervisor's romantic overtures. More than 50 percent of women said they would leave a job where an executive was accused of exchanging sexual favors with the opposite sex for more money or career advancement. Only 39 percent of men said they would.

More than one-third of the respondents said they had witnessed people being taken advantage of in the workplace by someone who had power over them. Hispanic and African-American employees were more likely than white employees to report that turning down a direct supervisor's romantic attention had hurt their career. While around a quarter of Caucasians reported this, more than one-third of Hispanics and over 40 percent of African-Americans had the same experience.

People who are dealing with harassment or discrimination in the workplace may want to consult an attorney who can outline the available options available. The next step might be to follow any company guidelines for dealing with workplace discrimination. If the company does not respond appropriately or attempts to retaliate, the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission might be advisable.

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