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Human Rights Commission: Sexual harassment complaints up in Maine

The Maine Human Rights Commission says sexual harassment complaints are up in the state. (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) – The allegations against Sheriff Wayne Gallant and high profile cases like Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein have put a spotlight on sexual harassment in the work place.

The Maine Human Rights Commission says sexual harassment complaints are up in the state.

Over the last few months, we've seen several people come forward accusing actors, TV hosts, executives and politicians of sexual harassment in the work place.

In Maine, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant is facing several complaints.

Members of the state's Human Rights Commission say Maine has the strictest workplace training laws on sexual harassment in the country.

They say any business with 15 or more people is required to train employees how to recognize and preventing sexual harassment in the work place, even so, complaints are still on the rise.

Employees say about 2/3 of people filing sexual harassment complaints in the state are working underneath the person they're accusing.

"That difference in power really is a huge part, I think, of what leads to sexual harassment and leads to a lack of accountability for sexual harassment when it does happen," Maine Human Rights Commission Executive Director Amy Sneirson said.

Employees say if anyone is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, they'd recommend filing a complaint within 300 days of the subjected discrimination.

They also advise writing down everything.

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