There is help for sexual harassment in the workplace - KMOV.com

There is help for sexual harassment in the workplace

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

(KMOV.com) - Unfortunately, a lot of women, and even men, can relate to exactly what Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was talking about recently in regards to sexual harassment.

News 4 recently dug into the issue of pregnancy-based discrimination, but sexual harassment is also under the big umbrella of sex discrimination and it can be emotionally painful and take a big toll on people's lives. That's why experts say it's so important to talk about it

Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or comments of a sexual nature.

It’s something that affects a person's employment or their work performance and/ or creates an intimidating hostile or offensive work environment.

You don't have to be the target of the harassment to be a victim, you just have to be affected by the offensive conduct.

We checked with the Missouri Department of Labor. Last year, 233 complaints were filed for sexual and gender based harassment. That’s up from 228 in 2014, but down from 251 in 2013.

Experts say the numbers are low, though, because many people don't feel comfortable coming forward.

"I think discrimination because of sex is under reported because we as women, tend to accept some of the things said to us, but also because of a practical matter, you need to be able to go back to work to maintain your career and financial stability," said Jessica Scales with the law firm of Sedey Harper Westhoff.

Experts say you can try to confront the harasser directly, report what happened to a supervisor, or you can file a complaint with the state, or even file a lawsuit, because there are laws on the books to protect against harassment.         

Want to know how to file a complaint?  Click

here

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