If you receive allegations of sexual harassment you should obtain formal legal advice as soon as possible, so that you can determine your risks and appropriate courses of action. Otherwise you may act in a way which increases your exposure to other legal costs you may face down the track, such as defending claims by the victim or harasser or paying damages/compensation/penalties. See the section below under ‘Legal Aspects’ for further details.
Properly managing sexual harassment claims will take time away from key staff including Human Resources and managers, in addition to the individuals involved (including the victim, alleged harasser and witnesses). Other organisational costs include staff turnover and reputational damage for your business;
Costs to individuals
Sexual harassment can be incredibly costly for individuals, including the victim, alleged harasser and even witnesses. Victims may suffer significant psychological harm from sexual harassment, which can lead to physical harm (related to or arising from the psychological harm, including self-inflicted harm). Employees can lose their jobs and/or ability to work at full (or any) capacity, or become disgruntled and resign.