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Process of dealing with sexual harassment can be tricky

Sexual harassment issues can be difficult for victims to handle, particularly in the workplace. Based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII, workplaces in Texas and other states that have over 15 employees are subject to regulations prohibiting sexual harassment. Even though workplaces with fewer than 15 employees do not have to have policies in place covering sexual harassment, most must provide training on preventing and reporting sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment includes being asked to do sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, unwelcome sexual advances, or even jokes and comments about people's sexual identities or experiences. The trouble that many employees face is that seeking protection from employers and filing sexual harassment complaints when they are reportedly victimized can be difficult. Specifically, it has been said that the process is not always necessarily friendly to the person filing the complaint.

For instance, the mediation session that is recommended for the complainant and accused puts both parties in the same room, which may naturally be uncomfortable for the complainant. Unfortunately, sexual harassment can lead to serious psychological trauma. Also, many human resource training programs do not offer classes on gender-based violence, which has been described as another definition of sexual harassment.

Employers in Texas are legally obligated to prevent the sexual harassment of their employees, as this leads to intimidating or hostile work environments. Employees who face sexual harassment have the right to file claims against employers that fail to take actions. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a case, a plaintiff may receive an award for his or her suffering.

Source: mic.com, "Here's What Actually Happens When You Report Sexual Harassment to HR", Sarah Trotta, March 3, 2016

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