Recent studies have shown that over a quarter of female employees working at Veterans Affairs have reported sexual harassment in addition to a smaller percentage of male employees. In response, a group of congressional leaders sent a letter to the VA Secretary urging the office to address this issue. A similar number of men and women have reported experiencing sexual harassment in various government jobs.
Lawmakers are urging the VA to take immediate action
While the VA claims that it has implemented several changes over the years to reduce harassment in the workplace, lawmakers have noted that the VA doesn’t require its employees to report all complaints. This could lead to issues with under-reporting of incidents. Many of the VA’s policies are also outdated and haven’t been updated to reflect the shifting cultural mindsets.
The VA claims that more changes will be implemented by 2021, but congressional leaders have urged the organization to make progress more quickly. Lawmakers have been pursing the issue for months, asking the VA to make changes and keep them informed on which changes have not yet been completed.
What employees should do if they become victims of sexual harassment
Employees who feel that they’ve been the victims of sexual harassment might wish to speak with an attorney to help them receive the appropriate compensation. An attorney may answer an employee’s questions about the issue and determine whether it’s worth pursuing the case. If the attorney thinks their client has a chance at receiving compensation, they may be able to help their client build their case and negotiate a fair settlement with the other party. If a settlement isn’t possible, the attorney might help the client gather evidence and documentation to present the strongest possible case in court.