Hudson, NJ– Sexual harassment and discrimination regularly occur in workplaces throughout New Jersey. Training programs and laws can’t protect everyone from a hostile working environment and workers will be subjected to inappropriate behavior from a boss or coworker. Even though sexual harassment is relatively common, there are a number of misconceptions about it, which we will discuss here.

One of the more common misconceptions about sexual is that it only affects women. While it is true women are typically the targets of sexual harassment, men are victimized as well. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of the nearly 8,000 sexual harassment complaints they received that year, 17 percent of the reports were filed by men. That’s a 1 percent increase over the 16 percent of men filing in 2012.

Those may be low figures since many men, like women, are reluctant to come forward and file a complaint with their employer, much less the EEOC. Not reporting it, though, can be a mistake and the harassment is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Men may be reluctant to report sexual harassment because they feel embarrassed. They may not consider a formal report as the best way to handle it, but, fact is, not reporting can often make things worse which leads us to another common misconception about sexual harassment: It will stop if I ignore it.

There are those instances in which sexual harassment is just a one-time incident that never happens again. On the other hand, some incidents of harassment are grossly inappropriate and continue to escalate because the victims are unwilling to report the harasser.

The most effective way to end sexual harassment in your New Jersey workplace is for the victim to directly confront the harasser. This is difficult for anyone who shies away from confrontation but it is the first step in stopping any form of workplace harassment or discrimination. The next step is to report the behavior to their employer, but that may not be enough.

Sadly, there are too many employers who are willing to ignore sexual harassment and do nothing to protect their employees from this inappropriate behavior. The complaints the EEOC are not an accurate reflection of how many men and women face sexual harassment or discrimination. Many incidents go unaddressed because employees are afraid to speak to their employer for fear of retaliation. It is often the case that an employer will punish the employee filing a complaint rather than the employee harassing others.

The sad truth is that the EEOC receives sexual harassment complaints because an employer failed to take action protect their employee from harassment or discrimination. That is why is so important for victim of sexual harassment to speak with a sexual harassment attorney in Hudson, New Jersey. USAttorneys can connect you with an attorney today and explain the options you have to recover compensation for mental anguish and lost wages.