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Preventing sexual harassment by employers in Michigan

According to a recent survey, roughly one-third of all college students say that they have been sexually harassed at work. The actual number may be even higher as younger workers may be hesitant to speak up after being the victim of harassment. In many cases, they feel as if they will be retaliated against or lose their job if they report illegal or inappropriate behavior.

Younger workers may be vulnerable to being abused because they are often the newest hires or otherwise have little professional experience. This may place them at the bottom of the employment social hierarchy, which may cause them to feel isolated while on the job. It may also result in younger workers having few friends who could act as advocates. Furthermore, a college student may be worried about the shame that their parents may feel if they knew about the harassment.

Those who study this issue say that more needs to be done to inform students of their rights at work and how Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 limits employer behavior around workers. It is also recommended that employers do more to follow through when employees make complaints about sexual or other types of prohibited harassment.

Employees who feel that they have been harassed by their employers may wish to take legal action. It may be possible to win financial compensation in the form of punitive damages and back wages if an employee was illegally terminated due to formal complaints regarding harassment. An employment law attorney may be able to review the case and help a victim of harassment pursue available compensation.

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