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Sexual harassment and assaults at work underreported

It is unfortunate that workplace sexual harassment still occurs in New York and around the country. In addition to sexual harassment, sexual assaults in the workplace are also a shockingly prevalent problem.

In early 2016, a case involving workplace sexual harassment and attempted assaults was settled for more than $1 million on behalf of employees at a Colorado ski resort. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 43,000 sexual assaults occur at U.S. workplaces annually. Experts believe that the numbers are far higher, however, because many workers simply don't report the incidents for fear of losing their jobs.

Some women who have reported attempted sexual assaults at their jobs have been told they are expendable. Others have complained and their supervisors have done nothing about it at all. Futures Without Violence, an advocacy group, reports that many people in vulnerable economic circumstances don't report sexual harassment and assaults because of needing their jobs to survive. One employee at the ski resort in the Colorado case reported that her supervisor attempted to rape her by pulling her pants down and trying to tear off her underwear. Despite that, the company reportedly failed to do anything about it when she did complain. While they may not realize it, undocumented workers are also protected against sexual harassment and assaults at work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extended many protections to workers from prohibited forms of discrimination. Sexual harassment in the workplace is considered to be a type of gender discrimination and is forbidden. People who have been sexually harassed or assault at work may want to get help from an employment law attorney with the filing of a claim with the EEOC.

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