Gretchen Carlson, a former news anchor at Fox News, has filed a lawsuit indicating that sexual harassment is alive and well in American companies. According to an article in USA Today, Carlson recently filed a complaint alleging that Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, made “inappropriate overtures toward her.” She also stated that she “endured sexist behavior” from one of her former co-hosts on a Fox program. Fox has “commenced an internal review” and Ailes has denied the accusations.
While a high profile case like Carlson’s makes headlines, surveys suggest that one in four women either have or will experience some form of sexual harassment at their workplace. And women are not the sole victims. Men can also be the victims of sexual harassment.
The definition of sexual harassment is “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” that ultimately interfere with an individual being able to do his or her job. In New York state, it is illegal at both the federal and state level.
All too often, sexual harassment goes unreported because the victims are either too embarrassed to report what happened or too afraid of retaliation. Victims of sexual harassment need to know that they are not powerless, there are options that they can exercise. They can enlist the aid of an attorney, who can listen to their story and help them hold their harassers responsible for the damage they’ve done. An attorney may be able to assist in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Source: USA Today, “Sexual harassment still a reality in the workplace,” Charisse Jones, July 7, 2016