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Companies' responses to sexual harassment

There is no profession or occupation in Texas in which sexual harassment is not an issue. However, despite the prevalence of sexual harassment, a mere 30 percent of women who are victimized by sexual harassers make internal complaints. An even lower percentage will file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, despite the fact that the companies may have knowledge that the sexual harassment is taking place.

The manner in which a company addresses a complaint or just an indication of sexual harassment has a substantial effect on the perception of the company. There have been publicized cases in which the denial of a company's board that there was no knowledge of sexual harassment seem to push the bounds of credibility. However, there are many institutions that will ignore the behavior of executives, effective salespeople, top performers and any other employees who have been financially beneficial.

Taking no action to stop an issue or pretending that the issue does not exist can have catastrophic outcomes, all of which can be financial devastating. When the EEOC receives a complaint about a company, the company will be investigated, and if the claims have merit, the EEOC will often file a lawsuit against the company on behalf of the victim. The EEOC received almost 26,000 claims of sexual harassment in 2016. In some cases, the victims of sexual harassment will speak with an attorney who will then pursue a private lawsuit. However, the fear of being publicly humiliated or retaliated against deters many victims from pursuing this legal avenue.

Workers who have been victims of any form of sexual harassment in the workplace may have legal recourse. An attorney who practices employment law may assess the factors of a case and determine the most effective path to take.

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