No one should have to endure sexual misconduct in the workplace. Unfortunately, workplace harassment continues to be an issue in many professions, despite recent efforts to increase awareness and to encourage those who encounter harassment to step forward. While it is no secret that such behavior may be unlawful, individuals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area may be surprised to learn that studies indicate that many instances of sexual harassment still go unreported.
Sexual harassment studies
Sexual harassment can take on many forms, whether it involves inappropriate comments and jokes or unwanted physical contact or advances. In some cases, workers may even feel pressured to put up with such behavior or comply with demands to stave off retaliation. While any type of sexual harassment may be unlawful by nature, studies indicate that nearly 75% of instances involving harassment are never reported.
There may be several reasons victims of harassment remain hesitant to step forward and confront the situation. Studies indicate that more than 50% of individuals who encounter such behavior worry that they will experience retaliation if they file a report. Or, victims may simply feel that the matter will go unaddressed and that filing a report will achieve nothing. But, not reporting harassment means that the harasser is allowed to continue harassing other co-workers.
Reporting sexual harassment
Victims of sexual harassment should not have to be afraid to step forward and confront the behavior. While preparing to report unlawful activity can seem intimidating, individuals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area may benefit from knowing they do not have to face this alone. An attorney can provide insight on the next steps to take to protect one’s legal rights and interests and seek full legal recourse through the appropriate outlets.