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Sexual harassment in the workplace can damage a victim's health, part one

A couple of the recent posts on our San Diego employment law attorney blog have focused on the additional consequences some employees have faced in the workplace for filing sexual harassment complaints with their employers. Some have had their complaints ignored by superiors, others experienced retaliation for filing a complaint and some employees were wrongfully terminated.

Although an individual should never become a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the individual's rights must at the very least be protected when an incident does occur. Sexual harassment is illegal and should never be tolerated by any employer in the state of California.

Ensuring that an employee's complaint is properly handled under state and federal laws is especially important in sexual harassment cases because victims oftentimes suffer from serious mental or physical injuries that may require medical attention and treatment.

According to a recent article that appeared on FoxNews.com, the physical and mental health of an individual who becomes a victim of sexual harassment may be damaged in six common ways. Although the individual may already suffer health problems as a result of sexual harassment, the employee may suffer greater mental and physical injuries if an employer fails to properly address or acknowledge the individual's formal complaint.

Depression

Individuals who work in any type of hostile work environment oftentimes suffer from emotional distress. But according to a sociologist at the University of Maine, those who are victims of sexual harassment may especially be prone to suffering from depression. These individuals may question whether or not they did something to provoke an unwanted advance or sexual touch. This type of self-doubt can easily turn into self-blame, filling the victim with many negative emotions and feelings. In some cases, the depression may last months or years.

We will revisit this topic later this week focusing on several other ways in which sexual harassment in the workplace can have a negative effect on one's mental and physical health.

Source: Fox News, "6 Ways Sexual Harassment Damages Women's Health," Nov. 09, 2011