As an employee, you have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination and/or harassment. Sadly, at many workplaces in Pennsylvania and across the nation, sexual harassment and discrimination are a part of the daily work routine. In fact, in 2018 alone there were 13,055 reported cases of sexual harassment in workplaces throughout the United States, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This was a marked increase from the 12,428 reported cases in 2017. Interestingly enough, 15.9% of cases in 2018 were filed by male workers.
There may be a misconception that when sexual harassment occurs, it is male workers harassing women. While this may be true much of the time, many do not realize that men too can be victims of workplace harassment. The number of sexual harassment cases filed by males is thought to be underreported, as some men are embarassed to file claims.
Sexual harassment against men can include any of the following unwelcome behaviors:
- Physical advances and touches, such as back rubs, patting or pinching
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal comments, jokes or remarks
The behaviors begin to affect workers’ performance on the job and can create a hostile work environment. In some cases, superiors or bosses may ask workers to perform certain acts or go on dates in order to advance in the company. Workers may feel that if they do not comply with the requests, they will lose their jobs completely.
Sexual harassment does not always come from superiors, however. It may come from co-workers who make crude remarks or comments. It is best to report the harassment to someone who can help you with the issue.