Despite the many gains women have made in workplace equality, the problem of sexual harassment remains very real. Harassment takes many forms and can affect women across a variety of industries. It is important for California employees to understand the steps they need to take to protect themselves from this type of illegal behavior.
Incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace may be under-reported, according to an ABC News forum. Many of the women interviewed stated that they either didn’t report harassment or delayed reporting it out of fear for the future of their careers. Of the 10 women interviewed by the news organization only two of them had filed complaints. Most of the women indicated in the interview they had experienced harassment four or more times at their workplace.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is not always clearly understood, and it can take many forms. Although harassment often includes unwanted sexual advances, it may not be limited to that. Anything related to a person’s gender, including gender put-downs, could be considered sexual harassment. The harassment the women reported also often came in the form of crude language and demeaning comments, which made the women’s workplaces feel hostile.
It is important to understand the legal steps employees can take to protect themselves from continued workplace sexual harassment. It is important to carefully document the incidents, including the time and date and the names of any witnesses. The situation should also be reported to the employer’s human resources department, and a complaint can be filed with the EEOC if the employer does not take action. People who face repercussions due to their report may wish to contact an attorney for help.