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Addressing sexual harassment issues in the workplace

Florida residents may be familiar with a recent sexual harassment claim made by a former female anchor against the CEO of Fox News. The woman has alleged that she was subject to inappropriate behavior by the CEO. She has also indicated that a former colleague subjected her to objectionable behavior. The company has affirmed its support for these male representatives of the network, noting that it will review the matter.

High-profile sexual harassment cases have occurred in various work disciplines, and the issue is believed to be quite prevalent throughout the nation. Research shows that an estimated 25 percent of women indicate that they have been subjected to harassing behavior in connection with their jobs. However, some experts believe that actual occurrences are much more frequent. Because of two decisions made by the Supreme Court in 1998, many employers have implemented policies to address this issue. However, there is concern that these policies can be lacking in substance.

One of the challenges for those dealing with sexual harassment on the job is that it is necessary to follow the prescribed steps for reporting and handling the situation. An employee may find it difficult to pursue these steps based on the position held by the offending party. It is also possible to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a state organization charged with handling such issues.

Sexual harassment legal assistance may be appropriate for an individual who has attempted to follow workplace policies in reporting offensive behavior. A lawyer might be able to offer recommendations for diffusing conflicts with management over allegations of harassment. In cases involving adverse employment action being taken against an individual who has reported harassment, a lawyer might help in filing a formal complaint with the EEOC.

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