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Sexual harassment is real, and can take many forms

If you live in the United States, you know it has been hard to avoid the news headlines regarding this year's Presidential candidates and the campaigns they are running. It seems like every week, a new report or clip is released, often showing character flaws with both the candidates, as well as their families. Recently, a lewd audio recording was released, revealing comments regarding possible unwanted sexual advances towards women. While it remains to be seen how this will ultimately affect the candidate or the Presidential election, it has become both a common topic between both candidates during the debates, at campaign speeches, in the media and among social media, as Americans discuss sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment in the workplace takes many forms and falls within two legal categories. Quid pro quo harassment, typically involves a superior, boss or person of authority who takes advantage in a sexual nature to a subordinate under threat of firing, retaliation or even denial of potential raises or promotions. Even one instance of an unwanted sexual advance, sexual innuendo, or threat by a superior is grounds for quid pro quo harassment. If the behavior is repeated or involves more than one person acting out on the sexual harassment violations, it may be considered a hostile workplace environment.

Sexual harassment cases are taken very seriously, and if proven guilty, an employee may be entitled to compensation for punitive damages, pain and suffering, and monetary losses. Courts will consider all factors of the case, including whether it was a superior causing the sexual harassment and whether or not the employer took any corrective measures to rectify the situation.

If you have been involved in any form of sexual harassment, including unwanted sexual advances, it is important to file a claim immediately. Doing so will not only help prevent future sexual harassment for yourself and fellow employees, but it is also the first step in making sure you are properly protected and compensated for the incident or instances that have already occurred.

Source: findlaw.com, "Sexual Harassment at Work," Accessed on Oct. 11, 2016

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