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Reporting sexual harassment: the first step in getting it to stop

Our blog has frequently covered issues of sexual harassment in the workplace and the various legal steps that an employee can take if he or she experiences harassment. Many people may be afraid to report sexual harassment, thinking that they might lose their jobs or that things will only get worse if they do. If either of these do come to pass after reporting unwanted touching or some other kind of sexual harassment, a New York City worker can file an employment lawsuit, as it is illegal to take retaliation on an employee exercising his or her rights.

Moreover, reporting sexual harassment is one of the first steps in getting such behavior to stop.

It is clearly important to report sexual harassment when it happens, but not everyone can recognize it. Sexual harassment can certainly include unwanted touching, but it can also include: 

  • Offensive jokes and comments
  • Sexual advances
  • Requests or demands for sexual favors

Moreover, if an employee reports this kind of behavior and nothing is done, the employer may also be found liable for creating a hostile workplace.

Employees should not have to deal with sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. Even though there are federal and state protections for workers, including a recent law that protects interns, there are still some employers, supervisors and coworkers who make employees feel uncomfortable, unsafe and otherwise degraded. By reporting such harassment and considering taking legal action, employees are taking the first of many steps in making workplace sexual harassment stop.

Source: Aol Jobs, "What Every Teen (And Parent) Needs To Know About Sexual Harassment At Work," Donna Ballman, May 13, 2014

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