It can be hard for someone to understand the full ramifications of being a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. If an employee reports this type of discrimination to superiors, some people who hear about it may think, "Was it really that bad? - What's the big deal?" The fact of the matter is that under federal and state employment law, sexual harassment is always a big deal.
Interestingly enough, however, a recent article reported on surveys which suggested that sexual harassment in the workplace occurs more frequently than the reporting numbers would indicate. According to the article, many people who suffer from some type of sexual harassment - female employees are usually the victims - will stay silent about the harassment and continue to attempt to work. As a matter of fact, of those women who reported that they had suffered sexual harassment in their workplace, 70 percent said that they did not report it.
Many of our Colorado readers may wonder why someone who has been the victim of any type of discrimination, but sexual harassment in particular, would stay silent and abstain from reporting these degrading encounters to superiors. Unfortunately, in some cases the perpetrator is a superior, and the victim may be very concerned about the prospect of retaliation. After all, no one wants to be searching for a job in this stagnant economy.
When a Colorado employee is the victim of discrimination or sexual harassment, there are timing issues to consider. A complaint must be filed within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act. That is why staying silent, perhaps until a more serious line is crossed, could be detrimental to any eventual claim.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Workplace Sexual Harassment Poll Finds Large Share Of Workers Suffer, Don't Report," Jillian Berman and Emily Swanson, Aug. 27, 2013