Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer

Sexual harassment in the tech sector

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The Silicon Valley tech sector has historically been the domain of men. As more women opt for technical careers, the risk for sexual harassment and related workplace problems has increased. This has been downplayed quite often, but many startup workers say the scale of harassment there is "breathtaking." Women, people of color, and even proper human resource practices are being rejected at some startups, and when anyone but a white male is hired there are often issues with harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

How bad is the issue, really?

Many startup workers have struggled with the issue, and hundreds or even thousands of women are coming forward every year to say that they have been harassed or mistreated in the tech sector. Much of this occurs at startup companies, because these smaller companies bend and skirt the rules as much as possible under the guise of "innovation." However, there's nothing innovative about mistreating women and people of color until these people feel they have to leave the company.

What options do people have?

The response of individuals who face sexual harassment in the workplace varies depending on the person and the specific situation. Some people just leave the company and move on to something else. Others decide to take legal action. While cases of this nature can be complex, with proper proof and documentation it's possible to successfully bring a case for sexual harassment or other types of discrimination against these tech companies.

Where should you start?

For anyone is the tech sector who is being harassed, documentation is important. Many victims are embarrassed to come forward, but with a good legal advocate there is a lot that can be done to help victims of harassment collect fair and just compensation for the problems and discomfort they endured while working with a startup tech company.

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