Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Close up photo of a woman pushing a man's hand off of her thigh.

The workplace is a professional setting where everyone should feel respected and comfortable. However, instances of sexual harassment can occur, making employees feel scared and unsure of what to do. Employees tend to hesitate to speak out against sexual harassment for fear of retaliation or not being taken seriously. It’s important to be informed about what constitutes sexual harassment to protect oneself and create a safer workplace.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can take many forms, including unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, requests for sexual favors, and sexual jokes. It’s important to remember that sexual harassment does not have to be physical; any unwelcome sexual advances or comments can be considered harassment. Additionally, the harasser can be anyone in a position of power, such as a co-worker, supervisor, or even a client or customer of the company.

Statistics on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

According to theU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

  • Shockingly, 90% of individuals who say they have experienced harassment never take formal action against the harassment, such as filing a charge or a complaint.
  • 5,581 sexual harassment charges were filed in 2021 (meaning that more than 55,000 employees were victims of sexual harassment).
  • 78.2% of sexual harassment charges were filed by women, despite women only filing 62.2% of harassment charges.
  • Of the 1,945 sexual harassment charges filed concurrently with arace charge, 71.2% designated Black/African American as their race.

Actions to Take in the Event of Sexual Harassment

It’s important to document everything that occurs by keeping a detailed log of any comments, behavior, or incidents that make you feel uncomfortable.

Documentation does not always need to be formal. For example, if a client says something inappropriate, you can write down what was said, the date, and who was present at the time of the incident.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

Every instance of sexual harassment is different. However, it is important that you take action to preserve your rights if you intend to seek justice. In West Virginia, you must decide whether to report it to your employer, whether the environment is too hostile to remain as an employee and, if you choose to file a claim, whether to proceed before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission or in court. Before taking action, it is important to consult an employment lawyer who is experienced in fighting on behalf of sexual harassment victims. Rod Smith Law PLLC is here for you to help guide you through the complicated process and to seek justice on your behalf. Rod Smith Law PLLC offers free consultations and can provide guidance on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances free of charge.

Sexual Harassment is illegal in West Virginia. It is also important to note thatretaliationagainst a victim who reports sexual harassment is illegal. If you are a victim of sexual harassment and experience retaliation, Rod Smith Law PLLC can guide you through the next steps.

Sexual Harassment Attorneys Serving West Virginia

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for victims. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, it is essential to seek legal help to protect your rights and hold your employer accountable.

AtRod Smith Law PLLC, our West Virginia employment lawyers can help safeguard your employee rights. Call (304) 406-7076 to request a free consultation.

We have recovered more than $10,000,000 for sexual harassment victims. We invite you to review our Google Reviews andsuccessful track record to see for yourself why we’re the right team to have in your corner.