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Workplace harassment at the VA

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2020 | employee rights |

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it’s unlawful to harass someone because of their sex. Harassment covers a range of inappropriate behavior, from requesting sexual favors to making unwelcome sexual advances. Sexual harassment can also simply be making offensive and derogatory comments about someone’s sex. Offenders and victims of sexual harassment can be both men and women, including anyone from the victim’s boss to their coworker or company client.

Watchdog groups and a bipartisan collective of Senate and House members have recently scrutinized the high rate of sexual harassment claims at the Veterans’ Association. Reports stated that as many as 26% of the women working at the VA experienced sexual harassment, and 14% of men filed the same complaints. In a letter to the VA Secretary, the lawmakers said that the report was especially egregious because the VA is responsible for providing health care and benefits to victims of sexual harassment. The report also stated that because the VA was lax when it came to training and oversight in sexual harassment matters, victims are unlikely to feel confident that their voices would be heard.

The VA responded to the report by stating that the report was based on years-old data. It went on to say that many of the issues had been dealt with through concerted efforts implemented by the VA.

Victims of sexual harassment can feel very alone and unsure of where to turn. They may be afraid of losing their livelihoods. Lawyers who have experience fighting for victims of workplace harassment may be able to help individuals feel comfortable knowing that they have assistance in understanding the intricacies of the law.