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On sexual harassment and your rights

One of the major talking points that has come out of this presidential election is the way women are treated in general. In the workplace, women deal with a lot, and even though sexual harassment can happen to anyone, it is undeniable that women deal with this terrible behavior more than men.

Our source article for today's topic highlights a group of employees that went out for a happy hour after work, and one of the male employees was excessive with his advances on a number of the women employees present. Other male employees didn't do much, if anything, to prevent this behavior.

The accepted nature of excessive sexual advances in the workplace (or between co-workers) is just part of the greater problem with sexual harassment. People need to be willing to prevent this behavior when it happens in front of them. But, of course, it would be great if it didn't happen at all.

That Utopian ideal is a long way off, unfortunately. In the meantime, any person who is sexually harassed by a co-worker needs to report the issue through the proper channels and uphold their rights as an employee. Reporting properly is a crucial first step, because if your employer fails to adequately address your concern in the coming days, weeks and months, then you could have other legal options down the line. For example, if they don't act at all and the harassing employee continues his or her behavior, you could have the grounds for a lawsuit. Similarly, if there are quid pro quo circumstances involved, you could have legal grounds to pursue litigation.

Source: NPR, "Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Threat To Victims, A Quandary For Bystanders," Yuki Noguchi, Oct. 15, 2016

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