Staffing agency: Booming economy gives frustrated workers other options amid #MeToo movement

The economy is making it easier for people to get away from harassment at work.

During the Great Recession, a lack of other employment options may have forced some workers to stay in toxic workplaces. But with the demand for workers reaching historic levels, a staffing expert says those harassed workers will simply jump ship for a new position, leaving the employer with a continuing problem.

For the first time in the nation’s history, there are more job openings than there are people looking for work. This has forced employers to raise wages to woo applicants.

Terri Greeno, a franchise owner of three Express Employment Professionals staffing businesses in Illinois says she’s been speaking with employers about the need to be aware of a toxic workplace more than ever.

“Things are very different from five years ago,” she said. “One of the most important things right now is for employers to really pay attention to what’s going on in their internal culture.”

Not only is it ethically the right thing to do, but Greeno said correcting workplace harassment will help to keep the workers from leaving, taking intellectual property and a poor opinion of their business elsewhere.

“They’ll pay the price by either losing their intellectual property by people walking out the door or by people taking action,” she said.

A report on job openings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 2.3 percent of all workers in the Midwest quit their jobs in May. The national rate of 2.7 percent is the highest it’s been since 2001.

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