Can sexual harassment victims stay anonymous?

It is understandable that employees who experience sexual harassment may not want everyone in their workplace to know about it. Often, they just want the harassment to stop without drawing unnecessary attention to the unwelcome behavior.

Ideally, employers should have an internal reporting procedure that allows employees to remain anonymous when bringing forth complaints. Having a confidential system not only protects the identity of sexual harassment victims but it also encourages workers to report misconduct early and without fear of retaliation.

If you are unsure about your company’s complaint procedures, ask your employer what to expect and who will know if you report sexual harassment. While you may want to keep your complaint entirely confidential, be aware that investigations are likely to involve interviews with the perpetrator, managers, coworkers and others in the workplace as potential witnesses. Even if identities are revealed during the investigation process, it is important for employers to have policies in place to maintain the privacy of all parties involved.

Remember, when you report sexual harassment, you are legally protected from retaliation. This means your employer cannot take negative actions such as firing you, decreasing your salary or giving you a negative performance review for filing a sexual harassment complaint.

Other Sexual Harassment FAQs:


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