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Schimmel & Parks, APLC - Litigation
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Sexual harassment on the uptick for African-American females

The "me too" movement has gone nationwide, but California is one of the states in which it had its start. The entertainment industry was rife with sexual harassment and a few people speaking out on the topic began what could be compared to an avalanche of outrage and steps to provide greater protection and outlets to victims. While there has been a reduction in the number of complaints about sexual harassment, it is obvious that the problem has not and will presumably never go away completely. Statistics seek to assess the continuing issue and a recent study indicates that African-American women are being harassed with greater frequency.

The data for the conclusions came from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and covered the two decades from 1997 to 2016. The researchers found that there was a connection between sexual harassment and unemployment statistics. When the rate of unemployment rose, the next month showed there was an increase in harassment complaints. This suggests that males had a greater propensity to commit harassment when they thought they were facing a threat to their jobs. The author of the study points out that white women were beneficiaries of the increase in vigilance to prevent sexual harassment. Men tend to think that African-American women will be more reluctant to report sexual harassment.

One of the main methods businesses are using to prevent sexual harassment is training as to appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Witnesses are also encouraged to report what they have seen. However, when there are fissures between training - especially at management - it can make the situation worse. Training workers in proper compliance is beneficial. Another suggestion is to have bias training so workers can confront potential biases that could result in harassing behaviors. Many states, including California, are mandating that employees take part in sexual harassment training.

While "me too" has given people greater freedom to complain about harassment, it certainly does not mean the problem has stopped. African-American woman were found to be vulnerable and faced an uptick in sexual harassment and this could be a concern in myriad ways across the board. For those who are facing sexual harassment of any kind whether it is comments, images, aggressive attempts at starting a relationship, unwanted touching, unacceptable jokes and more, having legal advice is critical to file a lawsuit. A firm experienced in employment law and sexual harassment can help.

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