A recent study found good and bad news surrounding sexual harassment claims in the office space. First, the overall trend of sexual harassment reports has steadily decreased over the last 20 years – indicating that activists’ efforts are working.
However, the researchers reported a large gap between reports made by white women and black women. According to data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), times more likely to report sexual harassment in 2016 to the EEOC than their white counterparts.
According to the study’s co-authors, it appears that sexual harassment shifted from white women in the office place to African-American women instead. They suggest it reflects a broader trend of shifting power dynamics in the office; people in power are always going to target who they perceive as less powerful. In the current environment, the target seems to be women of color.
What does this mean for me?
Regardless of race, sexual harassment is still present in the workplace in 2019. We see headlines of new victims of powerful CEOs, such as Harvey Weinstein. It’s critical to know how to report harassment in New Mexico and what to do after a claim.
In New Mexico, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. It doesn’t cover simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents, so you have to c consider the circumstances before filing a claim.
A victim has 180 days to file a report with the EOCC after the alleged harassment, but it may be extended to 300 days if the charge is covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law, like in New Mexico.
Once you file a complaint with the EOCC, an investigation begins, and you will have to continue working with the current employer. It may take days or weeks depending on the situation, but your employer cannot discriminate against you for filing a complaint.
Based on the results of the investigation, you will see different outcomes. Hopefully, the harassment will stop, and you will be able to work in a safe environment. But it only happens if you follow through on reporting inappropriate harassment.