NWPC Works to Eliminate Sexual Harassment
As many as 71% of all working women are subject to sexual harassment during their careers. Sexual harassment is unlawful, reduces morale, and constitutes a pernicious form of sex discrimination. It most often is motivated by the harasser’s fear, power or hate.
The forms that sexual harassment can take are as varied and perverse as the imagination can conceive. They range from offensive sexual innuendoes to physical encounters, from misogynist humor to rape.
Men as well as women can be victims of harassment. Yet many cases of sexual harassment are never reported, because the harassed party is too degraded, too uncertain of available rights and options, or too fearful of retaliation to do anything about it.
How NWPC acts:
Prevention is the best weapon against sexual harassment. NWPC has sponsored speak-outs on the issue and lobbied local governments to adopt meaningful training programs.
In addition, NWPC has intervened on behalf of harassed public employees and campaigned against public officials who have a history of harassment.
How you can act:
If you are a victim of harassment, you can seek relief.
You can try to resolve a complaint informally if your employer has established reliable procedures.
Seek out assertiveness training from your local YWCA to improve your ability to resist and report harassment.
You may seek relief from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Employees who make allegations of sexual harassment are legally protected from retaliation.
For those who have not been victims, you can refuse to tolerate harassment and speak out forcefully against it.
You should work to ensure that your employer has comprehensive policies against sexual harassment and that those policies are rigorously enforced.
As you advance in your career, work actively to ensure that those you supervise know how to resist, defuse and appropriately report harassment.