Sexual Harassment at Work Affects Both GendersOctober 6, 2015
A recent study conducted in Australia revealed that sexual harassment claims are breaking stereotypes as more and more people become comfortable with their sexual preferences and gender identity.
Sexual harassment in the workplace can create a hostile work environment and significantly affect an employee’s work performance. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for U.S. employers to engage in, condone or tolerate sexual harassment of any kind. Unwanted sexual advances, gender slurs, offensive language and other inappropriate behaviors of a sexual nature can constitute as sexual harassment.
In the past decade, sexual harassment claims have become diverse, straying away from the stereotypical male to female complaint to include male to male claims, female to male, and female to female complaints. A study was recently conducted by researchers from the QUT Business School and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, then published in the Work, Employment and Society journal. Researchers found that 78% of sexual harassment claims made over a six month period were brought by women filing claims against men. Eleven percent of the claims came from men charging other men with sexual harassment, and five percent of the claims charged women with sexual harassment of men. Women sexually harassing other women made up the final six percent of claims during the six month study period.
In claims charging men with sexual harassment of other men, the abuse most commonly consisted of derogatory comments regarding the male’s perceived sexual orientation, mimicking behaviors and threats of physical violence. In cases involving females sexually harassing male employees, the harassment consisted of sexual innuendos, unwanted sexual advances and public humiliation of the male in front of other colleagues. Women reported harassing behaviors from other women in the form of sexual advances including unwanted touching, hugging, cornering and kissing.
Researchers of the Australian study concluded that sexual harassment of any form has a significant effect on victims and others in the workplace. Twenty-five percent of women and 16% of males surveyed in the study reported that they had been victims of sexual harassment on the job. The numbers of sexual harassment cases are believed to be grossly under reported, especially in cases involving women harassing men, men harassing other men and women harassing other women. Employers must be diligent in providing support services and reporting systems that encourage victims to come forward and put a stop to this unwanted and damaging behavior.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocate for Victims of Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the experienced and knowledgeable South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help you claim the justice and compensation you may be entitled to under the law. Call us at 215-569-1999, or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.