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Sexual Harassment Archives

No small matter: Recognizing signs of workplace harassment

You've been working at the same California location for a long time. Some days, you bound out of bed and can't wait to get to the office to put your best foot forward toward a productive, successful workday. Other days, you wish you never had to show up for work again, at least in that particular place.

Don't take sexual harassment with a grain of salt

Sexual harassment at any point in your life is a horrible thing to have to experience. Unfortunately, many people are subjected to these types of events while they are at work. In these cases, the victims might choose to hold the employer accountable for the harassment. We can help you learn about the options that you have when your employer isn't taking your complaints of sexual harassment seriously.

Combating harassment in the workplace

When an employee experiences harassment or other types of mistreatment in the workplace, he or she may feel hurt, embarrassed, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. If you believe that you are a victim of illegal behavior that is harassing or demeaning, you have the right to take legal steps to protect yourself and your interests.

Steps to take to counter sexual harassment at work

Workplace sexual harassment can be stressful and demoralizing, but California employees who are facing it can take steps to make it stop. They should not just quit or try to avoid the problem. People are entitled to work in an environment where sexual harassment is not taking place.

Threat of career harm often prevents sexual harassment claims

Sexual advances from clients toward California employees often go unreported because victims worry about losing status at work. A survey of working women between 18 and 34 revealed that a full third of them had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. Although survey data indicates that the experience is common, actual complaints to employers remain rare. Fears about retaliation such as losing a prestigious account, loss of promotion opportunities and outright dismissal keep most victims silent.

Evolving attitudes about sexual harassment

California workers who are protected by laws against sexual harassment would not have had that coverage just a few decades ago. For many years, women in the workplace had little choice but to put up with sexual harassment or quit. There was not even a single word that described the experience until a group of women came up with the phrase "sexual harassment" in 1975. It was soon popularized by media, and in a survey done by Redbook magazine, 80 percent of women reported that they had been sexually harassed in their workplace.

Sexual harassment policies may be hindered by interpretation

According to some researchers, employers in California and other parts of the country may not be implementing sexual harassment policies effectively if they leave their interpretation up to employees. A study conducted at the University of Missouri showed that when employees interpret how their company policies define sexual harassment, they do so through the filter of their own perceptions. This could completely counter the intent with which such policies were written in the first place.

Insights into sexual harassment in California

Those who are sexually harassed at work may feel angry and vulnerable, which could cut into their productivity. However, sexual harassment is not necessarily an isolated event, as a large number of workers have revealed that they have received unwanted attention on the job. Although there are thousands of reported cases, it is believed that 70 percent of women do not report the abuse that they experience.

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