Male Victims of Sexual Harassment
The #MeToo movement has changed the landscape of our society, politics and the workplace. This movement has highlighted the stigma of sexual harassment and shed light on a pervasive problem in the workplace. While women typically experience more sexual harassment in the workplace than men, evidence suggests that sexual harassment against male victims is pervasive as well.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace has been defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affect an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance; or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
Examples provided by the EEOC of sexual harassment include obvious behavior such as touching, unwelcome advances, or physical assault. However, sexual harassment can also include more subtle behavior such as off-handed remarks, or comments in conversation that surround sexual matters.
Do men experience sexual harassment in the workplace?
A CNBC poll discovered that 10 percent of men identified as being a victim of either sexual misconduct or harassment in the workplace. Additionally, according to the EEOC, over the past decade, one in five complaints filed regarding sexual misconduct or harassment in the workplace came from men.
However, given the fact that there is an additional stigma associated with men identifying as victims of sexual harassment, the numbers of actual male victims of sexual harassment are likely much higher. Men may be embarrassed due to societal stigmas to actually report the sexual harassment they have faced in the workplace.
Additionally, male victims of sexual harassment can be victims of either women or men. Oftentimes, harassment is about humiliation or power and can come from anyone in the workplace.
What laws protect men against sexual harassment?
If you are a male victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are federal and state level laws to protect you. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or potential employees on the basis of sex, protecting both men and women equally. Under these laws, you may be able to bring a claim against your employer for creating or allowing a hostile work environment to exist or engaging in quid pro quo discrimination on the basis of sex.
Sexual harassment against male victims causes the same types of detrimental impacts on mental health. Men who are victims of sexual harassment dread going to work, fear retaliation if they file a grievance, and worry about their day-to-day life in the workplace.
At California Employment Counsel, APC, we believe that EVERYONE has a right to a safe work environment, free from sexual harassment. If you are a male victim of sexual harassment, we take your claim seriously. The #MeToo movement stands for not only the rights of women but of anyone facing a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment.
Standing up for your rights in the workplace can be terrifying. If your sexual harassment grievance has been met with opposition from your employer, we can help. As a male victim of sexual harassment, you have rights, too. We will help you through this process and pursue legal action if needed. Our experienced sexual harassment lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss your rights as a male victim experiencing sexual harassment at work. Contact us online
or call (714) 462-8376 to discuss your legal rights today.