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Sexual harassment complaints on the rise

Sexual harassment has been a constant problem in workplaces and elsewhere in society for centuries. It is often easy to ignore the problem if it is not part of a person's daily life, but it seems that -- whether or not sexual harassment is on the rise -- legal attention being paid to the social scourge is increasing.

More than 3,500 federal civil lawsuits related to harassment have been filed thus far in 2017, more than the entirety of 2016, according to an analytics firm that tracks litigation. This comes after 2016 also broke records for gender-based harassment complaints as well.

"When women who have experienced their own harassment see that there are consequences to these other harassers in a higher-profile setting, they are more willing to come forward because they think something can be done about it now," according to a California law professor.

This year has seen notable complaints in increasing numbers coming from venture capital firms, technological development companies and branches of federal and California state government. Some analysts believe that a political climate that pits various classes of workers against each other may have led to this increase.

One of the signals from this trend is that companies and managers are refusing to tolerate inappropriate sexual behavior in increasing numbers as well. An attorney can help anyone who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace determine the best legal challenges to prevent future discrimination and correct past damage to his or her career and dignity.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Lawsuits charging sex-based harassment in workplace on the increase," Wendy Lee, Dec. 11, 2017

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