Sexual harassment in a Pennsylvania workplace can interfere with an employee’s ability to perform his or her job and can create a hostile working environment. According to a poll taken in March 2016, roughly 60 percent of women said that they have experienced unwanted sexual attention while they were on the job. Furthermore, one third of women ages 18 to 34 who responded to a poll conducted by Cosmopolitan said that they experienced sexual harassment at work.
While sexual harassment may be prevalent in the workplace, many cases go unreported. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 70 percent of women do not report harassment that they experience. The biggest reason was a fear or reprisals or a loss of reputation both personally and professionally. It should be noted that men may also fail to report harassment at work out of fear of personal or professional reprisals as well.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics has noted that more 43,000 rapes and assaults occur at work each year. However, it is believed that the number may be larger as many may be too scared to tell others what happened to them. Again, both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment such as rape or assault while at work.
Those who are subject to offensive sexual comments or sexual innuendo at work may be the victim of illegal sexual harassment. An employment law attorney will often suggest that a victim first pursue the course that is outlined in the company manual. However, if that proves ineffective, an attorney can assist in filing a claim with the EEOC.