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Complaints of sexual harassment sometimes solve the problem

When workers in Texas experience sexual harassment, they often decide not to report the problem. A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder asked 809 full-time workers in the private sector about their experiences. Overall, 12 percent of them acknowledged that they had been sexually harassed, but the vast majority, 72 percent, did not report it. For the minority of people who did complain, a full 75 percent of them said their employers resolved the issue.

Despite the largely positive outcomes for many of the workers who came forward, multiple concerns prevent most people from filing a complaint. According to the survey, 40 percent of victims did not want to be viewed as troublemakers at work. Another 22 percent of respondents worried about pitting their word against the word of their harassers. Fear of job loss kept 18 percent of survey respondents quiet.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises people to tell their harassers to stop their behavior directly. If various reasons prevent someone from confronting a harasser, then the commission recommends that the victim should inform the harasser's supervisor. The law obligates employers with 15 or more employees to investigate these allegations. A person can also seek help directly from the EEOC.

An employee trying to cope with workplace harassment could seek out the representation of an attorney at any point. An attorney could listen to the person's experiences and investigate whether an employer allowed a harasser to break the law. To build a case, legal counsel could gather evidence such as testimony from witnesses and email or text messages with sexual content. This information might be used to file a complaint with the EEOC. An attorney could also communicate the problem to the employer and strive to negotiate a settlement.

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