You may think that sexual harassment in the workplace is a thing of the past, but in parts of the world, including the United States, sexual harassment is still a big issue. This stands to be particularly true in India, where legal protection for victims was lacking until just a few years ago. While some progress has been made worldwide since then, there is still a considerable distance to go.
Half of Sexual Harassment Cases Are Unsuccessful
More than half of the allegations of sexual harassment made to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during 2015 resulted in no charge. The statistics, which span over a six year time frame, display a consistent pattern in which claimants are unsuccessful.
In 2015, the EEOC investigated 6,822 sexual harassment allegations in the workplace. Of the cases that were settled during that year, the EEOC dismissed 52 percent of them since they had “no reasonable cause to believe any discrimination had occurred.” An additional 25 percent had a result for the claimant that was deemed positive. These “satisfactory” outcomes included settlements, withdrawals of the claims but with benefits, as well as successful and unsuccessful conciliations. The remaining 23 percent were closed due to administrative purposes.
Sexual Harassment is Still an Issue
Why are so many cases going unreported? Many say it is because society does not view harassment and discrimination as serious issues.
There are many reasons why victims are afraid to report the behavior they experience. Abusers often target women who have certain traits or disadvantages. They may be inexperienced workers or single mothers who rely heavily on a paycheck. Other harassers may seek out timid personality types that have a tough time standing up for themselves.
What You Should Do If You Experience Workplace Sexual Harassment
- Document it. As soon as possible, write down details of the incident. Leave out the emotions and just include the facts, times, dates, and any witnesses to the event. Keep this document in a safe place outside of the office.
- Check your company policies regarding sexual harassment. Most employee manuals will include procedures for reporting sexual harassment. Follow them as closely as possible.
- Contact the EEOC. You typically have a 45-day window from the event to seek help and advice from an EEOC counselor.
- Contact a lawyer. It is also a good idea to find a sexual harassment lawyer, even if you do not plan on filing a lawsuit.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Fight Sexual Harassment
If you think you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, call a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer today at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation.