Some employees in Minnesota have the misfortune of experiencing or witnessing obnoxious or offensive activities in the workplace. In most cases, the employee this occurs to or a witness of these events will file a complaint. This is commonly the case when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. This harassment will often create a hostile work environment and could lead to emotional damage and even force some employees to quit.

The authors of a recent report discovered that nearly 500 workers in the U.S. armed forces were terminated or disciplined for sexual harassment in the past year. It was also reported that close to 13 percent of sexual harassment complaints in the military were in response to the actions of repeat offenders. Due to these numbers, the Department of Defense recently released a formal report regarding how they should handle these incidents of sexual assault and related crimes.

In most cases, events of sexual harassment in the workplace included unwelcome sexual advances, the request to perform sexual favors and other physical or verbal conduct. In the last fiscal year 1,366 reports of sexual harassment were filed. The majority of the complaints involved young, lower ranking women as victims and the behavior involved frequently occurred on the military base.

When sexual harassment occurs in the work environment, it is important that victims of this event report it. This could help them if they file causes of action against the responsible parties. If the individual suffers damages due to sexual harassment, they could file a civil suit to recover any damages that occurred. These damages are commonly lost wages and punitive damages.

Employees who believe they are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace should seek guidance about what actions they can take. It is important to fully understand the situation so it can properly be addressed. Furthermore, it is crucial to protect their interests and rights.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Pentagon punished nearly 500 for sexual harassment,” Lolita C. Baldor, May 16, 2014