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Sexual Harassment - Prevention And Remedies For Sexual Harassment

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It is well-established that sexual harassment arises from power-related issues rather than issues of a sexual nature. Whether the setting is the workplace, an educational institution, or a military facility, the law is clear and unequivocal: sexual harassment will not be permitted.

EEOC regulations include guidelines for employers on how to recognize, prevent, and educate employees regarding sexual harassment. In addition, EEOC regulations provide instruction on how to institute procedures within organizations to investigate and resolve issues from within. Many organizations have policies that inform employees, students, military personnel, and others who may be affected by sexual harassment of methods for dealing with harassers and detail the proper procedures necessary after initial steps fail. In a business setting, internal complaints may be filed with the proper authorities and mediation or arbitration may be used. Complaints may be filed with the EEOC or the state or local agency responsible for fair employment practices (FEP). Law suits may result from unresolved issues or in cases where the damages are severe.

Courts may enjoin employers to halt improper behavior in hostile environment cases. Attorney fees can also be awarded. In addition, if an employee quits his or her job because of sexual harassment, the employer may be liable for compensation due to lost wages. In 1998, many companies had affirmative action policies including the prohibition of sexual harassment, in compliance with EEOC guidelines, to raise awareness of the nature of sexual harassment in the workplace and to discourage employees in supervisory roles from creating hostile environments. Employers today seek to reduce their liability from lawsuits by indicating the inappropriateness of this behavior, even among employees. Continued vigilance against sexual harassment in the work place, the educational system, and the military, with the goal of ultimately eliminating sexual harassment, is an ongoing war, with some of the battles left undecided.

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