One of the most disturbing effects of sexual harassment at work is feeling fearful about what might happen if you report it. Will the harasser talk about you behind your back? Will your boss fire you? Will the harasser become violent or more persistent? Will your coworkers and superiors believe you and support you?
In North Carolina, many workers struggle with different forms of harassment. A recent report from Oxfam ranks North Carolina among the five states with the worst working conditions. Sexual harassment in the workplace continues to plague employees in some organizations.
Here is a scenario for you to consider. You go to work every day and perform your duties as required despite ongoing sexual harassment on the part of a superior. You have told him or her that you are not interested and asked that the behaviors cease. Unfortunately, the harassment continues. Should you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at this stage?
In many cases, gender discrimination in the workplace is separate from sexual harassment. An employee can suffer either one or both of these federally prohibited activities in the North Carolina work environment.
When most people think about workplace sexual harassment, they typically envision a woman suffering harassment at the hands of a male superior. It is a fact that most cases of such harassment at work do center on female victims. However, men are also victims of harassment, many of them turning to an employment law professional for help.
Have you ever felt strangely uncomfortable around a supervisor or a co-worker without being able to pinpoint specific harassing behaviors? If you said yes, then you are not alone. Many employees in North Carolina have reported similar feelings, some of which are so disturbing that these workers quit their jobs.
In terms of employment law, sexual harassment in the workplace is expressly prohibited. Yet many of the workers employed by McDonald's have reported incidents of such harassment. Unfortunately, some of these allegations arose in our home state of North Carolina.
If you're the victim of sexual harassment at work, one of the first things you should do is file a complaint with your human resources (HR) department. The more evidence and witnesses you can provide, the better your chances will be of being believed and of your employer taking the necessary action to make it stop.
The #MeToo movement has led to more women coming forward to report sexual harassment and even assaults by men who have the power to control their professional futures. A recent survey, however, has revealed a negative impact of the movement. The fear that it's instilled among some men has made them afraid to have one-on-one interactions with female subordinates.
Workplace sexual harassment isn't always as simple or blatant as a manager, colleague or client making an unwanted sexual advance or proposal. Often, there's a "quid pro quo" element. This usually occurs when the harasser has some type of leverage over their victim.