Sexual Harassment And In-Home Health Care Workers

The home health care industry is vitally important to people who are recovering from medical procedures, have certain medical conditions or want to “age in place.” The workers in this industry take a risk each time they visit a patient’s home, but most home health agencies take steps to try to keep their employees safe.

Unfortunately, there are times when home health care clients will behave inappropriately when a health care worker is in their home. This may even involve inappropriate sexual behaviors.

Why is sexual harassment such an issue in-home health care?

Some clients in-home health care have mental deficiencies that reduce their ability to determine what’s appropriate and what isn’t. This may lead them to do things that they shouldn’t do, including acting in sexual ways in front of the health care worker or toward that worker. However, blatant sexual behaviors by a client can place the worker in a terrifying position.

Sexual advances while in a client’s home might make the worker feel uncomfortable because they’re at a disadvantage. They may feel trapped and intimidated, especially when a client is physically stronger than the worker.

This is especially true for workers who don’t have a partner working with them. These home health care workers should always be empowered to leave a client’s care if they’re being placed in danger of any sort, including having to deal with sexual harassment.

What can you do if you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment?

Any home health worker who’s been subjected to sexual harassment while doing their job should report the behavior to their employer. Proper protocols must be in place to protect these workers, but many will face backlash when they speak up. Taking legal action might be necessary to get the situation rectified in a suitable manner.

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