The Pentagon recently reported that there were an estimated 20,300 instances of unwelcome sexual conduct among 1.3 million active service members in 2014. Among these instances, 65% occurred on a military base or ship; 54% of the time, the assailant outranked the victim.
A common misconception is that women are the only victims of sexual harassment. The Pentagon’s data indicates that this is not true: for the second year in a row, it was estimated that more men were subjected to unwanted sexual conduct than women. Approximately 10,600 men and 9,600 women were assaulted or harassed. Regardless of what gender the victim is, sexual harassment is unlawful and should not be tolerated. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed in your workplace, contact Akin Law Group as soon as possible.
According to the Pentagon data, the number of reported assaults was up 11% from 2013, and up 70% from 2012. Officials believe that the jump reflects higher rates of reporting and greater confidence in the military’s ability to respond to the crimes rather than an increase in assaults.
Sexual assault and harassment in the military is severely underreported. It is widely believed that one factor that contributes to service members’ reluctance to report unlawful sexual behavior is that service members are required to report instances of sexual assault and harassment to their commanding officer, even if that officer is the assailant.
The first thing that a victim of workplace sexual harassment should do is complain to a human resources representative or a superior. Once the employer is aware of the allegation, it must conduct a speedy and impartial investigation, and take appropriate disciplinary actions if the claims are found to be true.
But what happens if the person that you are required to report to is also your harasser? If you were sexually harassed in the workplace, and are afraid to report it because the individual who handles complaints in your workplace is your harasser, you should know that the law protects your rights. If your supervisor refuses to correct the sexual harassment or retaliates against you for reporting it, you can file a sexual harassment lawsuit to recover monetary damages.
The lawyers at the Akin Law Group are dedicated to fighting against sexual harassment. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment in your workplace, contact us at 866.685.5163 to schedule a free consultation with an employment lawyer.