Employees Fear Reporting Sexual Harassment in Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is still a big problem in California and across the nation. According to a recent news article from Main Street, despite high frequency of workplace sexual harassment incidents, employees are often too afraid to report when they are harassed out of fear it will have consequences for their continued employment and advancement. This fear of reporting means victims are not telling supervisors, filing lawsuits, or taking part in lawsuits others have already filed.

sadness1A spokesperson for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) says, according to studies and other reports, one of out four women working in the United States is a victim of sexual harassment. This includes women working in the lowest paid jobs as well as the highest paid jobs at equal rates. It should be noted, some of these numbers are merely estimates, at it is difficult to form an accurate accounting, even through anonymous surveys, since many women are afraid to disclose they were sexually harassed at work. Supervisors, co-workers, and even third-party contractors and vendors perpetrate many of these sexual harassment incidents.

As our Los Angles sexual harassment attorneys can explain, there are laws preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and, as victim, you have a right to file a lawsuit—in many cases seeking not only protection from unjust termination or other workplace discrimination, but also to seek compensation for your injuries. However, as noted in the article, many victims are too scared to report harassment or seek legal redress out of fear of retaliation from their employers.

This is even more of a concern in certain male-dominated industries in California, such as the computer programing industry, where there are only a small number of employers, and getting in trouble with one may make it difficult to gain employment at the others.

While it is obvious there is some truth behind these fears, it is important for you to stand up for your rights to prevent continued harassment. It should also noted that even you believe you can live with some level of sexual harassment, unchecked harmful behavior may get worse over time, as offenders think they are untouchable. Even what many would consider minor sexual harassment may turn into serious sexual assault over time, and it is essential you take action sooner rather than later.

Another important thing to keep in mind is, while many of these studies and even speeches from sexual harassment victims treats this issue as one exclusive to female victims, there are many cases in which men are the target of sexual harassment from both male and female employers, co-workers, supervisors, and other offenders.   While men be even less willing to file a claim, it is helpful to seek a confidential consultation with a Orange County employment lawyer to learn your rights.

One interesting point discussed in this article is many employers may be more willing to quickly settle a sexual harassment lawsuit these days than in years past, as they do not want negative publicity, or “bad optics” to use the latest industry buzzword. In other words, they would rather pay an injured employee quietly than face a public lawsuit.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Employees Are Fearful of Filing Sexual Harassment Lawsuits, Instead Place Priority With Job, April 28, 2015, Main Street

More Blog Entries:

McDonald’s Faces Suit for Rampant Racial and Sexual Discrimination, Jan. 26, 2015, Orange County Discrimination Lawyer Blog