Los Angeles, CA- Sexual harassment and other forms of workplace discrimination still occurs in the workplace with a fair amount of regularity. In 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received over 26,000 workplace harassment complaints, so it’s clear far too many workers face abuse on the job. Sexual harassment remains relatively common because there are many myths surrounding it. Here we will discuss four of the more common myths about sexual harassment in the California workplace.

Myth: Women are the only victims of a sexual harassment.

This is one of the most common myths about workplace sexual harassment and while it is true women are targeted by sexual harassment more often, they are by no means the exclusive victims. Men face sexual harassment and incidents are increasing. In 2012, 16 percent of sexual harassment complaints were filed by men, but in 2013 that number inched up to 17 percent, according to EEOC.

Myth: Sexual harassment is connected to attraction:

It’s true that in many cases, sexual harassment is the misguided result of physical attraction, but power is really the underlying motivation, especially in cases of quid pro quo harassment. That type of harassment usually entails a boss using their position to gain sexual favors from a lesser ranking employee.

Most psychologists agree that sexual harassment is more about an assertion of power and control; one worker uses their position to get sexual favors from coworkers or to make them feel humiliated and degraded.

Myth: It will stop on its own

Ignoring the harassment may work in some situations, but those are rare and not taking action can invite even more of the behavior. Or, give the harasser the mistaken notion that you don’t mind the attention. Not confronting the harasser or addressing inappropriate comments and touches will often lead to escalation.

In a 2014 survey, appearing in Main Street, 61 percent of workers who encountered sexual harassment were able to end the behavior by asking them to stop. That’s promising but in the other 39 percent of incidents an employer had to step in a put an end to the harassment.

Myth: An employer will take swift action

All of the sexual harassment complaints received by the EEOC just scratch the surface of the problem. That is because so many employees choose to just ignore the harassment and refuse to report it to their employer. They would much rather quit their jobs than file a formal complaint because don’t believe their employer will believe their allegations or take action against the offending employee.

If you are being sexually harassed in your California workplace, USAttorneys urges you to inform your employer and then contact a sexual harassment lawyer near your location. Our team of knowledgeable employment law attorneys in California will explain the process of filing a formal complaint and work tenaciously to get you the compensation you deserve.  Let us connect you with someone who can help you get justice for the abuse you’ve been forced to tolerate.