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Gender discrimination goes up as sexual harassment claims drop

Working women here in California may feel as though their struggle for equality is paying off. Sexual harassment claims are down thanks to initiatives such as the #MeToo movement. Sadly, some women now face another problem in the workplace -- gender discrimination and harassment.

It appears that in some work environments, supervisors, co-workers and others take offense at being called out on their inappropriate behavior. They have begun campaigns of harassment, retaliation and discrimination against women they work with who complain about being sexually harassed. In these situations, women here in California and across the country traded in unwanted sexual attention for the display of sexist material and sexist remarks.

The downturn in sexual harassment at work has helped empower women to come forward and companies appear to respond to their plights. This helps improve their confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, when the reduction in sexual harassment is replaced by increasing gender discrimination, those improvements can easily fade away.

Many women also experience retaliation from those they work with for complaining about sexual harassment. They could lose work opportunities or even their jobs. It is clear more work still needs to be done. One of the only ways to level the playing field is to continue to fight for their rights.

Even though sexual harassment claims have declined in recent years, women still suffer from it. Now, they also have gender discrimination, retaliation and harassment to worry about. No one experiencing these issues has to suffer in silence. Both federal and California laws protect women's rights to a safe and nonhostile workplace. Understanding their rights and legal options in these cases could help them overcome these obstacles.

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