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Small number of workers report workplace harassment

Sources indicate that only 10 percent of people who are victims of harassment in the workplace in New Mexico and the rest of the country will file an official complaint. Their reluctance to do so is linked to the belief that their concerns will not be taken seriously or that they will be retaliated against. According to a 2016 report issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, both concerns have grounds.

A spokesperson for the EEOC states that companies should modify their training to stay abreast of current social norms. As sexual harassment was made illegal in 1986 with the passage of Title VII, ensuring that sexual harassment is curtailed has more to do with how the training on the subject is approached, new social norms and how the issue is discussed.

An EEOC task force that assessed workplace harassment in 2016 discovered harassment based on a person's gender was hardly ever reported. Behavior involving unsolicited physical contact was reported just 8 percent of the time. Only 30 percent of workers who were victims of sexually coercive behavior reported the behavior. The results of the study conducted by the EEOC showed that the proportion of people who were victimized by workplace harassment and filed a complaint ranged from just 6 percent to 13 percent.

A study conducted in 2003 revealed that 75 percent of workers who reported harassment in the workplace endured some type of retaliation. Additional studies show that people who report sexual harassment are usually met with indifference from their employer and the minimizing of their complaint.

People who have experienced employer retaliation for reporting harassment in the workplace may have legal recourse. An attorney who practices employment law may be able to file the necessary complaints with the EEOC and pursue financial damages against the employer on behalf of a client.

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