Or, you could spend that $100k settling a workplace harassment claim out of court. That’s right—according to Workforce Magazine, employers can expect to lose between $75,000 and $125,000 defending a case through discovery and a ruling on a motion for summary judgment. (By the way, that’s assuming the employer wins; otherwise, the total typically ranges from $175,000 to $250,000—but may even surpass $150 million.)
It’s time to face the facts: Harassment is unethical. Harassment is illegal. And for the organizations that allow it to occur, harassment is really, really expensive.
Fox News, for instance, paid $45 million over the course of a year to address the fallout from an investigation into former anchor Bill O’Reilly’s history of sexual harassment. Uber, meanwhile, fired 20 people after reviewing current and former employees’ claims of harassment, bullying, and other violations.
And these are only the harassment costs we can calculate. There’s more—much more—to the story than settlements, fines, legal fees, and turnover. Consider the employees who dread coming to work, the consumers who boycott after reading negative press coverage, and the untold numbers of smart, talented people who leave an industry—or decide not to enter it in the first place—as a consequence of their and others’ experiences of harassment.