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Sexual harassment hotlines do not stop the harassment

When reports of sexual harassment began swirling around Fox News earlier this year, it was noted that employees never took advantage of the media organization's hotline. Like Fox News, many California companies maintain a hotline for employees to report incidents of sexual harassment. However, these types of hotlines are generally meant to legally protect the company and not actually prevent sexual harassment.

In fact, reports surfaced that many Fox News employees did not even know the hotline was available. Those who did know a hotline existed may have had trouble finding the phone numbers to make a call. In may cases, victims of sexual harassment are uncomfortable using such hotlines. This may be in part because employees may not believe that the process is confidential or anonymous.

To effectively prevent or reduce sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important that companies remove the offenders. This shows accountability and that managers do not condone a workplace culture that allows sexual harassment to occur. Additionally, civility training, which addresses a variety of behaviors that may be unacceptable in the workplace, may be another way to prevent sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment comes in many forms and can include unwanted sexual advances, offensive sexual jokes and quid pro quo harassment. When employees experience sexual harassment in the workplace, they may find that their work is negatively impacted. If they report sexual harassment to their employers, they could potentially face retaliation by having their hours changed, being skipped over for promotions or even getting fired altogether. An attorney could help such a victim file a lawsuit.

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