HOUSTON, Texas. Sexual harassment in an office can be a traumatic experience for victims who suffer from it. While it can be frightening and challenging to report sexual harassment to human resource departments, many offices have human resources personnel on staff who can offer some support to victims. However, what happens when victims suffer sexual harassment in the field where there isn’t support or help? How do victims seek justice? In many cases, they just don’t.
HOUSTON, Texas. Not all employers intentionally violate labor laws. While some may cut corners in labor laws to protect their bottom lines, other companies may simply be ignorant to labor laws and may violate them unintentionally. New companies are especially at risk of making these mistakes. If you are planning on working for a startup or new business, it can be helpful to know your rights so that you can inform your employer and prevent violations. In the case of startups, informing your employer not only benefits you, but it protects your employer who could potentially face tens of thousands of dollars in fees and back pay in the future. When everyone follows the law, everyone is protected.
HOUSTON, Texas. Sexual harassment legislation passed in the House, but similar legislation remains to be passed in the Senate. Why? The Atlantic reports that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, was unhappy with a part of the legislation that would have required Senators to be financially liable for harassment and discrimination settlements. Apparently, Senate members can use tax money to settle sexual harassment claims, a situation that women (and men) on both sides of the party aisle find unacceptable.
HOUSTON, Texas. Many employers require workers to sign arbitration clauses when they get hired. Signing these clauses is often required in order for the worker to get employed. According to USA Today, as many as 56% of American workers are bound by arbitration clauses. This means that as many as 60 million American workers may not be able to take their employers to court if sexual harassment occurs or if the company fails to handle a harassment issue in a proper or timely manner.
HOUSTON, Texas. For years, women have been reporting harassment only to be ignored by human resources and their managers (and many more have not been reporting harassment they have suffered due to the fear that they would be ignored or would be retaliated against). Unfortunately, all too often, the focus is on men when these claims come to light. The media (and other men) worry about the men’s careers and empires, once again silencing women and their stories. Yet, women-owned businesses may be changing this narrative. These businesses may offer real guidelines for best practices that other businesses can follow.
HOUSTON, Texas. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue. According to a 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report, 25% to 85% of women report that they have faced harassment on the job. Many women may not be reporting harassment on the job out of fear or due to push back from their employers. In 2003, a study found that 75% of women who spoke out about their harassment faced retaliation. While the law offers protections for individuals who face retaliation, not all workers may be aware of their rights. Retaliation isn’t the only concern. Some human resources departments—and even Capitol Hill—may place onerous burdens on those who choose to bravely speak out.