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Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

As the discussion of sexual harassment continues to dominate headlines, many California employees are still having to deal with uncomfortable situations on the job. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 72 percent of workers who experienced harassment on the job did not share their experiences with their employers. Of those who reported sexual harassment, nearly 54 percent report not confronting the offender.

The countless charges of sexual harassment involving Harvey Weinstein are still fresh on the minds of many Californians. It was only after dozens of women came forward sharing their experiences of sexual harassment that the New York Police Department moved forward with charges of rape, sex abuse, sexual misconduct, and criminal sex act against the media mogul.

While some feel empowered due to the #MeToo movement, many victims are still forced to deal privately with shame and fear. The reluctance to come forward is often rooted in feared retaliatory actions. The #MeToo movement shined a light on the rampant abuse of power by men with authority. Coming forward is a feat in and of itself. Victims who reported coming forward in the CareerBuilder survey reported that employers fell short in addressing the concerns of workplace discrimination. Three-quarters of participants in the survey who reported workplace harassment stated that nothing was done to resolve the issue.

Employees should report the incident immediately to a supervisor. Checking to see if there is an anti-harassment policy at work is strongly recommended. If no change has occurred after reporting the incident, it may be time to pursue a formal claim with the EEOC. The claim has to be filed within 180 to 300 days.

If an employee is experiencing harassment, religious discrimination, wage discrimination or any other form of workplace discrimination, they could discuss the matter with an employment attorney. There are laws that protect both employee rights and civil rights.

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