Increased awareness and social movements have shed light on workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. It’s true that younger generations, such as the Millennial generation, are more likely to report harassment. Employers are taking proactive steps to prevent these incidents. However, according to the 2018 Hiscox Workplace Harassment Study, more than one-third of U.S. employees report they have experienced workplace harassment.

Harassment can happen anywhere

Awareness of workplace harassment has increased over the years. Businesses large and small know the consequences of inappropriate workplace behavior, yet some companies choose to ignore the warnings. 73 percent of workplace harassment victims reported that their harasser was in a senior position.

No matter the size of the company, harassment claims still pop up. Many employees who report harassment in the workplace are witnesses. Oftentimes, harassment victims fear that allegations would create a hostile work environment. This fear may involve potential demotions and other forms of retaliation.

Not all companies approach harassment the right way. 54 percent of respondents at companies with 200 employees or less reported that anti-harassment training did not exist. Companies with more than 1,000 employees usually have workplace harassment policies, but policies are oftentimes ignored.

Mistreating employees is illegal

Workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation are all illegal methods. It’s common for victims to not report harassment because they fear it will be handled improperly.

Employees should never settle for mistreatment at the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in place to protect professionals from discrimination and harassment based on sex, race, religion, disability and much more.