Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Sexual harassment underreported according to EEOC claim reports

Sexual harassment has been classified as illegal under Title VII since 1986. Sadly, the vast majority of workers who experience this type of disturbing behavior on the job do not report it for fear of retaliation. California employees who believe they have been a victim of this type of discrimination are entitled to file an EEOC claim against the individuals deemed responsible.

An estimated 90 percent of workers who have experienced harassment on the job do not take steps to report it, purportedly out of fear of repercussions from either superiors or co-workers. Even though companies have  conducted training on this type of inappropriate behavior, the emphasis has been more on avoiding liability than on actually eliminating problem behavior. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a report in 2016 that addressed the issue along with the fact that workers' concerns about retaliation appear to be valid.

Approximately three-fourths of workers who did file a report of some type of sexual harassment were subjected to some form of retaliation. The report claims that an estimated 13 percent of workers who were victims of unwanted physical contact reported the incident. Overall, only around 30 percent of victims file an official complaint. The agency stressed that there needs to be a shift in the focus of training that emphasizes eliminating this behavior completely from the workplace.

Another aspect of effective workplace training may be ensuring that managers are aware of the types of behavior that are considered harassment since many of the social norms regarding this behavior have changed over the recent years. This type of behavior in the workplace is never appropriate, and any California worker who has been subjected to it is assured of the right to address it without fear of recriminations. He or she can file an EEOC claim as well as seeking the advice of an attorney who is well-versed in employment laws and protecting employee rights.

Source:, "EEOC report: Few victims file sexual harassment complaints", Marcia Moore and Dan Irwin, March 3, 2018

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