Did You Witness Workplace Misconduct? Here's What You Can Do to Help By Dan Atkerson on March 14, 2024

legal teamEmployment laws on the state and federal levels provide workers with numerous protections. These laws ensure a safe work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Unfortunately, employers regularly violate employment laws.

Dan Atkerson, an employment discrimination lawyer and sexual harassment lawyer in Dallas, TX, assists employees from Allen, PlanoFriscoTX, and surrounding areas in holding liable employers accountable. While victims of harassment have a clear course of action, many are unsure what to do if they are witnesses to workplace misconduct. Here, we offer tips on how to help if you see discrimination or harassment at your job.

How Can I Help as a Witness to Workplace Misconduct?

Workplace misconduct is rarely an isolated incident and does not always occur behind closed doors. Discrimination and harassment frequently take place in front of other employees. Witnesses to workplace misconduct may feel helpless and unsure about how to respond to inappropriate and unlawful behavior. While it can feel as though there is nothing to do as a witness to workplace harassment or discrimination, there are several ways to assist affected employees.

Try to Stop the Behavior

Any witness to workplace harassment or discrimination should prioritize stopping the behavior. Speaking out may make an employee feel uncomfortable, but it’s vital to say something. As long as it is safe to do so, witnesses to workplace misconduct should make it clear that the behavior is unacceptable.

Provide Emotional Support

Victims of workplace harassment and discrimination often feel alone. They may hesitate to speak up or file a report because their harasser makes them feel like they are in the wrong. Providing emotional support to victims of workplace misconduct may give them the strength and confidence to take action against the employer. It may not seem like a lot, but listening and validating a person’s feelings about the incident can be extremely beneficial.

Offer to Be a Witness

Victims of workplace harassment should file a complaint with their employer’s Human Resources department. When a worker makes a report, having other employees corroborate their statement is beneficial. Witnesses of harassment or discrimination can assist victims by offering to serve as witnesses and providing details about the situation from their point of view.

Assist with a Formal Complaint or Lawsuit

When an employer fails to take appropriate steps to stop harassment or discrimination, victims of misconduct should file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). It may also be appropriate to file a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for damages. Witnesses to misconduct can provide information and written or verbal documentation of inappropriate behavior to strengthen the claim and assist harmed workers in receiving a judgment in their favor.

File a Complaint 

It is not just victims of harassment or discrimination who can file a complaint with their employer. Witnesses to workplace misconduct can file their own complaint with the Human Resources department. By filing a separate claim, witnesses can back-up their coworker and further encourage their employer to take action against the harassment or discrimination.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are a witness to workplace misconduct, you are not helpless. There are many ways that witnesses can help harassment and discrimination victims so they get the justice they deserve. If you have questions about assisting in a harassment or discrimination claim or have been a victim of workplace misconduct yourself, contact our law firm and request a personal consultation.

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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