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Sexual harassment incidents not as frequent as 2 decades ago

According to federal employees, workplace harassment based on sex is not occurring as frequently as it did in the past. However, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board said it is still taking place. Fortunately, employees -- both federal and private-sector workers -- in the Bay Area who experience sexual harassment have the right to seek justice.

The merit board recently reported that women are more likely to acknowledge experiencing sexual harassment when compared with them. In fact, in a survey, just 6 percent of males versus 18 percent of females indicated experiencing one or more occasions of harassment during the past two years. This is still a drop from the 19 and 44 percent, respectively, cited in a report in 1994.

Common sexual harassment behaviors include questions, comments, jokes and unwelcome sexual teasing. Other behaviors that have been acknowledged include undesired sexually suggestive gestures or looks, as well as the invasion of one's personal space. Meanwhile, the recent survey indicated that the behaviors that men and women experience the least include attempted sexual assault or rape, and sexual favor-related pressures.

Even though some progress has been made in the Bay Area and other parts of the United States in decreasing how often sexual harassment occurs, it unfortunately still does happen, and it remains grounds for litigation. Understanding what facts need to be proved is necessary in order to prevail in a civil harassment case. Depending on the victim's situation, he or she may receive remedies such as monetary damages, back pay and associated legal relief.

Source: fedweek.com, "Sexual Harassment Declining but Still a Problem, Says MSPB", Sept. 13, 2017

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