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Rise in sexual harassment claims worrisome for employers

No employee in New York wants to be mistreated at work. Understanding what protections there are for workers who are confronted with sexual harassment is important.

In this respect, there is a rise in the number of people who are emboldened to complain about this sort of treatment. For those who have been subjected to sexual harassment, there is legal recourse to seek compensation for what happened and how it impacted them. With the growing number of sexual harassment claims, it is important to understand the details behind the rise and how to be protected when making accusations of inappropriate behavior.

There has been a notable increase in complaints about sexual harassment since the issue gained greater notoriety with awareness campaigns beginning in October 2017. Since that time, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received a growing number of complaints about the issue.

It was up by 13.6% for the previous fiscal year, with more than 7,600 overall complaints. Still, estimates suggest that many people do not report sexual harassment with only 15% to 20% doing so.

Employers are taking steps to resolve the problem by having increased vigilance and educating employees as to what constitutes sexual harassment and for those victimized to complain about it. The way in which sexual harassment often occurs, with text messages, images transmitted via cellphone and emails, leaves a wealth of evidence to prove that it was taking place. Increased scrutiny from the EEOC and other entities is also sparking employers to be more proactive.

For its part, New York has banned the mandatory arbitration process for these claims to better protect workers.

While there has been a positive trend toward protecting workers from sexual harassment, the statistics saying that people often do not report how they have been treated should also be concerning. Although the landscape is friendlier to people who are subjected to this treatment, there are still obstacles to achieving justice when a person's employee rights are violated. To file employment claims after sexual harassment, it is wise for an employee to be protected and have legal advice. Calling a firm that has experience in employment law for employees is a crucial step toward addressing sexual harassment.

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