Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley weighs in on sexual harassment reports

The Chair of Pennsylvania's Labor & Employment Law Group says his phone is ringing of the hook, getting calls from not only employees but employers.

"Not just with respect to claims of sexual harassment, but honestly, more with respect to training. Employers are realizing this is something they have to spend more time on," says Attorney George Hlavac.

Hlavac says the phones at his law office started ringing off the hook with the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal and will likely continue as the conversation surrounding sexual harassment continues in the national spotlight.

"I think what we are seeing now is the tip of the iceberg," he said.

According to the National Women's Law Center, 25 percent of women experience harassment in the workforce but studies show about 70 to 90 percent of them never report it.

"Putting percentages aside, it's not uncommon unfortunately," said Hlavac.

We also spoke with Attorney George Kounoupis, chair of the Lehigh Valley Employment Law Committee. He says these cases have been around for years and while he doesn't notice an uptick in claims, he wouldn't be surprised if more people start talking with Hollywood getting caught in the mix.

"The idea being, if someone can stand up to someone like that, I should be able to stand up to my boss. There's a lot at stake for women who come forward," Kounoupis said.

Kounoupis says while it's getting air time, he doesn't anticipate incidents of sexual harassment will drop.

Attorneys we spoke with say if you believe you're being sexually harassed at work, contact your HR department or a high-ranking manager and make sure you document your claims and reporting.

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