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A closer look at sexual harassment in the workplace

Creating a workplace that is conducive to productivity and organizational growth requires employers to provide workers with a safe environment free from discrimination and harassment. Employees who are dealing with unwanted sexual advances, contact or jokes are victims of sexual harassment. Maintaining a respectful environment is something that all Florida businesses should strive for.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has shared some facts about sexual harassment in the workplace. These include the following:

  • A victim can be anyone who has been harassed or offended by another person’s comments or actions.
  • Harassment is any type of unwanted behavior towards another person or group of people.
  • The harasser can be any of the following: a non-employee, a supervisor, an employee agent, a supervisor in a different department or a co-worker.
  • The harasser and/or the victim can be a male or a female.
  • Sexual harassment can happen without compromising the victim’s employment status or economic welfare.

ABC 7 News put together an experiment where they invited 10 women from 10 different industries to participate in an interview about sexual harassment in the workplace. When asked whether or not they had been the victim of some type of sexual harassment during their career, all 10 women raised their hands. A lot of the women said they were criticized by fellow co-workers for being “too emotional” in terms of their reaction to unwanted advances.

If someone is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, they should immediately document what is happening, report it using company resources and policies and work with their employer to file a complaint with the EEOC.

Florida has the second highest ranking for sexual harassment claims in the U.S. at 7.9 percent.


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