Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, wrong, and widespread.
Although it is very common, many people don’t know much about workplace sexual harassment. Let’s take a look at three common myths people have about sexual harassment:
- Sexual harassment only happens to women: Both men and women can initiate sexual harassment – and both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s data for 2011, 16.3 percent of sexual harassment charges were made by men.
- Sexual harassment only happens to attractive women: Another damaging misconception about sexual harassment is that it only happens to women who look a certain way. This is not true. Sexual harassment happens to women and men regardless of what they look like. Victims can be any age, any weight, any height, etc. Sexual harassment is much more about control and power more than attractiveness.
- “Minor” sexual harassment should not be reported: So-called “harmless” sexual harassment really doesn’t exist. A victim should never fear speaking up because he or she believes the behavior is too minor. Sexual harassment should never be tolerated. Why? The aggressor could continue the harassment. The harassment could get worse. More and more people could be affected. Victims may feel the need to change or quit a job. For a victim, it is important to tell the aggressor to stop. When the conduct continues, the employer should be notified. If the employer fails to step in, it may be time to talk to an employment law attorney.
These misconceptions about sexual harassment are damaging because they can prevent individuals from getting the help they need.
Victims have rights and legal options. An attorney can help victims understand those rights and provide legal guidance to ensure the victim is protected.
Free consultation: To speak to an attorney about what is happening in your workplace, please call 213-550-5503.