Reports of sexual harassment have dominated the news recently as the #MeToo movement took off. It seems that every day a big name celebrity tells another story of unbelievable harassment, retribution, and damage to her well-being and career.
It doesn’t make as many headlines, but more and more women are standing up in workplaces all over Arizona and the nation. Hard working, good people have put up with harassment for far too long. But action is being taken and there are signs that it is finally being taken seriously. Much of that is because as women stand up it is harassment is becoming very expensive.
More reports all the time
Lawsuits are filed every day against companies that have allowed sexual harassment in the workplace, but only some are large enough to make the headlines. The largest one recently here in Arizona involved GEO group, a company that oversees two prisons here.
In that suit, 16 former guards were paid $550,000 in damages after they endured years of a culture of harassment. The company has since declared a “zero tolerance” policy that includes training, reporting, and monitoring systems to be sure that it does not happen again.
But all of this came after a few women had the courage to stand up and make it clear that they were not going to take it anymore.
Smaller cases are occurring, too
Beyond the headlines, there are settlements every day for sexual harassment on the job. The Arizona Department of Administration released their report on all claims for sexual harassment since 2007. A total of nearly $2 million has been paid out to settle claims for sexual harassment alone.
All of this occurred before the critical cultural shift, too. As more women stand up to sexual harassment there will be more suits and the cost this will continue to drive change. The compulsion to stay silent is and fear of retaliation is finally being broken down.
Has it happened to you?
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work you need to take action. Now is the time to stand up and protect your right to a harassment-free workplace.
An attorney experienced in harassment cases and employment law can help you to understand how you can be protected and not fear retaliation. A workplace free of sexual harassment is required by law. The first step towards putting an end to this is to stand up for your rights.