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What To Do if You Are Sexually Harassed at Work

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Sexual harassment has been prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal anti-discrimination law. Despite the existence of the law designed to protect workers, this has not stopped the problem. With an astounding 31% of female workers (7% of male) reporting they have been sexually harassed in the workplace, it is an issue that deserves more attention. In recent years the number of sexual harassment claims by men has tripled.
Unwanted sexual advances, forced sexual activity, statements about sexual orientation or sexuality, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including jokes and off-handed comments) constitute sexual harassment. The behavior does not have to be direct. Sexual harassment can exist with implied sexual innuendos as well.
One of the biggest misconceptions about sexual harassment is that the harasser must have sexual intentions towards the target. A person can be the victim of sexual harassment without any sexual intentions on the part of the harasser.
Accoridng to statistics compiled by the United States Equal Employment opportunity Commission, the federal agency that deals with discrimination, only 5-15% of women formally report the sexual harassment (according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This suggests that the actual problem is much more wide spread than the current statistics exhibit. Whether it is fear or retaliation or a belief that nothing will be changed targets of sexual harassment often feel powerless. However, change can only occur if people take action to end the behavior.
Documenting your case is crucial to finding solution. You should document the sexual harassment behaviors (noting the date, other witnesses and sexually harassing behavior). Keeping a log of this kind will help you to approach your superiors or human resources department to first report the problem and give the business the chance to resolve the issue. Sexual harassment must be reported to a person at the organization in a supervisory position. Although one act is generally not actionable under the laws, you should report harassment to your supervisor to permit him/her to address the situation before it gets worse.
As you approach the appropriate person at your workplace, you will want to note the person to whom you reported the issue as well. Many sexual harassment targets find counseling to be beneficial. The therapist’s notes can also serve as documentation for your case.
Harassers often choose their behavior because it makes them fell powerful to dominate and humiliate their targets. If you are the victim of sexual harassment there is no need to feel isolated and alone. You can get the help you deserve. Contact our offices for a confidential consultation to assess your legal rights and regain the power in your life.


photo of Paul Padda

Paul Padda, a former federal prosecutor, is the founder of Paul Padda Law: a law firm based in Las Vegas Nevada representing plaintiffs throughout the nation in personal injury and other civil cases. With over 15 years experience litigating in federal and state court, Paul has a proven track record of success, including obtaining one of the largest jury verdicts in Nevada history. A first generation American, Paul is dedicated and committed to helping his clients navigate the legal system and take on large and powerful interests. A lawyer who truly cares, Paul provides individualized and compassionate attention to each and every one of his clients.

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