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Sexual harassment and steps to take to stop it

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We all deserve the ability to perform our job duties without fear of harassment. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many Florida residents are subjected to discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. Whether it is discrimination based on race, gender or age, these individuals often feel trapped. They are fearful that speaking up could lead to retaliation and the loss of their job, but going with it creates a hostile working environment. The good news is that does not have to be the case.

Sexual harassment is far too common in our workplaces. According to statistics, almost 12,000 charges are filed each year. Those who are subjected to sexual harassment can put an end to it, but it all starts with being able to recognize it. So, what is sexual harassment? It often involves unwanted sexual advances, offensive language of a sexual nature and other acts that focus on sex. Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, including those who are not the target of such language or acts. It is also important to note that anyone can be a harasser, including co-workers and bosses.

Perhaps one of the best ways to try to stop sexual harassment is to discuss it with the harasser. A simple conversation may be enough to inform a harasser that their actions are offensive and unwanted. If that step is not possible or is unsuccessful, then a victim may want to take the matter up the chain of command. Additionally, it may be wise to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When damage is caused by sexual harassment, whether economic, non-economic or both, a victim may be able to take legal action in an attempt to recover damages. If successful, recovered compensation may allow a victim to find financial stability, closure and a sense of justice.

Source: FindLaw, “Sexual Harassment Facts,” accessed on Jan. 24, 2016

Tags: Sexual Harassment
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