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What can you do about sexual harassment and discrimination?

West Virginia workers know that sexual harassment and discrimination of any kind is unacceptable in the workplace. Despite laws that prohibit this in the workplace, inappropriate behavior does occur, and victims may not know what to do next. Victims should follow the protocol of their employer regarding sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.

If a West Virginia employee is faced with harassment or discrimination, and the situation is not resolved "in house, " that employee may file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If a claim is valid and the agency cannot resolve the issue, the employee may explore the option for civil litigation. An employee has the right to legal assistance to ensure that his or her rights are protected through the entire process.

Some employers or managers may view harassment as a situation that will simply resolve itself if left alone. Employers bear the responsibility of handling these situations promptly and in a timely manner, in order to protect the victim from further embarrassment and harassment. If the situation cannot be resolved or is ignored by authorities, the victim may consider legal action, including a possible civil claim against the employer.

An employee has the right to a workplace that is free of sexual harassment and discrimination. Complaints of this type of inappropriate behavior should never be ignored or dismissed by the authoritative party. If an individual is unsure of how to respond to a situation or if the employer has properly handled the issue, a lawyer experienced in employee rights can fully evaluate the situation.

Source: findlaw.com, "Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take", Dec. 10, 2014

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