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When Men Are Sexually Harassed At Work

By Samuel Cordes

Men can be victims of sexual harassment at work just as can women. It is important for all men to be able to recognize this form of discrimination.

Sexual harassment is a not a new term or concept in our society. While many people in Pittsburgh may still think of only women as the victims of this form of discrimination that is not at all true. In today’s work environments male sexual harassment is an increasing problem. More than 16 percent of all sexual harassment claims made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2010 to 2013 were filed by men.

Where does male sexual harassment happen?

These situations are seen in businesses small and large and even in government departments. The once Chief of Staff of the United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement ultimately resigned in 2012 after multiple male employees claimed that she sexually harassed them according to a report by the New York Daily News. The allegations involved comments that were lewd or sexual in nature as well as other actions.

More recently, a lawsuit has been filed against a restaurant chain based upon allegations that the company violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The root of the case, as reported by Take Part, involves the company’s its hiring procedures. Two men who wished to apply for employment over one particular summer were not essentially not allowed to because the company stated it would not consider male applicants. The company’s choice to only hire female workers led the men to file a sex discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC eventually filed the lawsuit.

The International Business Times tells of a law enforcement officer in Texas who brought a lawsuit against his former female boss. The man indicated that his supervisor repeatedly made sexual requests or engaged in various sexual behaviors in his presence. The jury award in his favor was $200,000 above the originally requested damage amount.

What does male sexual harassment look like?

One factor which may contribute to the rise in male sexual harassment is the growing number of women in powerful positions indicates Forbes. However, many cases of sexual harassment against men can be perpetrated by other men. Hazing is a common form of harassment by a male boss to a male subordinate. Regardless of the genders involved, sexual harassment may involve requests for sexual acts, undesired sexual advances, inappropriate comments of a sexual nature and other similar actions.

What should employees know?

All employees, whether male or female, should know that male sexual harassment is a potential threat and is illegal just as is female sexual harassment. Employees who believe they are the victims of this type of discrimination in Pittsburgh should seek legal assistance.