Researchers in Israel have found that women who encounter workplace sexual harassment do not usually report the incidents and tend to leave their companies instead.

As your resident Human Resources expert, I'm not shocked or outraged by this news. In fact, I fully support this course of action.

There is no reason, ever, to tolerate a hostile work environment. It's insidious, it's damaging and it's unacceptable. I encourage you to stand up to anyone who harasses you and devalues your work. But if your employer hires or keeps on staff someone who thinks it's okay to treat you like a second-class citizen, that means your company is already broken.

Reporting the harassment and enlightening the "perp" is worthwhile; however, the most effective way to make the harassment stop is to formally reject your company, focus on your career and get the heck out of there. Implement a strategy of shock and awe.

Click here
to read why reporting harassment isn't worth it.

Trying to change the system from within has failed American women for decades. Don't be a sucker -- say "I quit" instead.

The Most Annoying Co-Workers

    Insistent Instant Messenger: No matter how much time or miscommunication could be spared by talking face-to-face, this person insists on talking virtually, via IM or email. If they're a superior and you're not online, they send you an email to ask where you are (meanwhile you're at your desk, ten feet away).

    Cycle Sister: This is a person you're not particularly fond of, but for whatever cosmically twisted reason, your daily routine is synched up -- you walk into work at the same time, and from there, you see your Cycle Sister in the bathroom, on your smoke break, at the vending machine, and on the way out. Even if you do like this person alright, the sheer coincidence makes things creepy and awkward.

    Mr. Flibble, Flickr

    The Get-a-Lifer: This person asks you out to post-work drinks on a regular basis, despite the fact that you always decline. And the one time you went to a party at their house, it ended up being the two of you playing Taboo. The Get-a-Lifer is often the same person who plans meetings at 6 p.m. on Fridays, not realizing that everyone else goes out with their friends on the weekend.

    bealluc, Flickr

    Listserv Leech: If someone has taken this person's lunch out of the fridge, the entire staff will be notified via the staff listserv, which everyone else uses exclusively for professional communication. Alternately, this person may use the listserv to let everyone know about the lack of toilet paper in the bathroom, a party they're throwing, or to ask who took that package off their desk.

    Angry Typist: The Angry Typist pounds on her keyboard with the vigor of someone hitting their ex-boyfriend. The violent clacking leads to many misunderstandings, as this person is often unaware of their problem and is not actually pissed.

    .faramarz, Flickr

    The Toilet Mouth: You're on the pot midstream (or worse) when the Toilet Mouth strikes up a conversation. This person also likes to chatter at the sink for before and after they go, giving no one in the bathroom privacy to do their business.

    Megan *, Flickr

    Monday Manic: The coffee hasn't hit your bloodstream yet, and the Monday Manic is flittering about, imbued with an unnatural amount of energy and optimism. They're telling stories about how freaking great their weekend was and so stoked about the work they get to do that day.

    Old News Hound: OMG, did you hear that Lindsay Lohan is dating a girl!? The Old News Hound is always the last to know about everything, but the first to belt out at a stale headline at full-volume to their surrounding coworkers.

    Rash Revealer:This person has no shame getting on the phone with their doctor, their spouse, their aunt, or their mom to discuss a rash, a yeast infection, and any other personal bodily defect or medical issue.

    maydaFUNKbewithu!, Flickr

    The Chit-Chat Blaster: If this person catches you in the break room or on your way out of the bathroom, you're done for a half an hour later they're still yammering away about the paint samples they're considering for the livingroom, the deli they ate at for lunch, the meeting the boss called earlier, the diet they're on. The Chit-Chat Blaster also doesn't notice you inching away, and generally lack the ability to pick up social cues.



Some might say it's anti-feminist to say that a woman's two best choices are to put up with it or leave. I think it's anti-feminist to judge another woman's choice (unless you are the Octo-mom and then I'm going to judge you so hard).

HR Is Not Your Pal
If you choose to stick around and report the incident, there is no turning back. Your HR representative is tasked with moving quickly to protect the organization's image, and the system for investigating the claim of harassment is callous.

The goal of a harassment investigation is to establish blame and shift liability away from your employer. The burden of proof falls on your shoulders. Rather than asking how you want the situation to be resolved, Human Resources is primarily concerned with determining if you are lying or telling the truth. Even though you are a victim and your HR rep may sympathize, your feelings will only be addressed to the extent that it protects the company.

If you are successful at proving the harassment, which is very unlikely, you may be asked to continue to work with the offending employee – no matter how awkward this feels for you – because he has the right to a "second chance" according to most corporate disciplinary policies.

Another, even more insulting solution is that your harasser might be paid to resign -- HR execs see it all the time. The goal is to pacify the victim and secure a promise that the offender will not sue the company for firing.

Be Your Own Union Rep
I believe the best way to remedy harassment effectively in the workforce is to quit. Companies are only motivated to change their behaviors when faced with financial implications, so I suggest that you turn in your resignation and then inform your employer about what happened.

This doesn't sound like a great solution, but I know firsthand that the cost of replacing you -- and your awesome institutional knowledge – is enough to draw thoughtful and sincere attention to the problem.

Telling a woman not to report harassment seems counterintuitive and anti-feminist; however, I see this action as the most courageous action a victim can take. Dare to demand a work environment where gender equality and cultural sensitivity are important, and accept nothing less -- even if that' means finding a new work environment.

Laurie Ruettimann is a writer, speaker and HR exec with Fortune 500 experience. She blogs at Punk Rock Human Resources.

The Most Annoying Co-Workers

    Insistent Instant Messenger: No matter how much time or miscommunication could be spared by talking face-to-face, this person insists on talking virtually, via IM or email. If they're a superior and you're not online, they send you an email to ask where you are (meanwhile you're at your desk, ten feet away).

    Cycle Sister: This is a person you're not particularly fond of, but for whatever cosmically twisted reason, your daily routine is synched up -- you walk into work at the same time, and from there, you see your Cycle Sister in the bathroom, on your smoke break, at the vending machine, and on the way out. Even if you do like this person alright, the sheer coincidence makes things creepy and awkward.

    Mr. Flibble, Flickr

    The Get-a-Lifer: This person asks you out to post-work drinks on a regular basis, despite the fact that you always decline. And the one time you went to a party at their house, it ended up being the two of you playing Taboo. The Get-a-Lifer is often the same person who plans meetings at 6 p.m. on Fridays, not realizing that everyone else goes out with their friends on the weekend.

    bealluc, Flickr

    Listserv Leech: If someone has taken this person's lunch out of the fridge, the entire staff will be notified via the staff listserv, which everyone else uses exclusively for professional communication. Alternately, this person may use the listserv to let everyone know about the lack of toilet paper in the bathroom, a party they're throwing, or to ask who took that package off their desk.

    Angry Typist: The Angry Typist pounds on her keyboard with the vigor of someone hitting their ex-boyfriend. The violent clacking leads to many misunderstandings, as this person is often unaware of their problem and is not actually pissed.

    .faramarz, Flickr

    The Toilet Mouth: You're on the pot midstream (or worse) when the Toilet Mouth strikes up a conversation. This person also likes to chatter at the sink for before and after they go, giving no one in the bathroom privacy to do their business.

    Megan *, Flickr

    Monday Manic: The coffee hasn't hit your bloodstream yet, and the Monday Manic is flittering about, imbued with an unnatural amount of energy and optimism. They're telling stories about how freaking great their weekend was and so stoked about the work they get to do that day.

    Old News Hound: OMG, did you hear that Lindsay Lohan is dating a girl!? The Old News Hound is always the last to know about everything, but the first to belt out at a stale headline at full-volume to their surrounding coworkers.

    Rash Revealer:This person has no shame getting on the phone with their doctor, their spouse, their aunt, or their mom to discuss a rash, a yeast infection, and any other personal bodily defect or medical issue.

    maydaFUNKbewithu!, Flickr

    The Chit-Chat Blaster: If this person catches you in the break room or on your way out of the bathroom, you're done for a half an hour later they're still yammering away about the paint samples they're considering for the livingroom, the deli they ate at for lunch, the meeting the boss called earlier, the diet they're on. The Chit-Chat Blaster also doesn't notice you inching away, and generally lack the ability to pick up social cues.