When a serious issue begins garnering the attention it deserves, many people — including New York residents — may feel a sense of justice and accomplishment. Over the past several weeks, sexual harassment in the workplace has obtained copious amounts of attention. As a result, numerous alleged high-profile harassers and victims have seen a wave of changes in the entertainment industry. While this attention may allow for movement in a positive direction, what about individuals in low-wage situations?
Many individuals in low-wage jobs may not receive the same ready action to their complaints of harassment. One woman gave her account of being harassed and later raped by a supervisor while on the job. It took months for her to work up the courage to report the incident, and after she did, she was fired from her job.
In addition to low-wage workers getting left out of the conversation, so have women of color. Though these women have not gotten as much attention as some of the big-name cases, industries that commonly employ women of color with low rates of pay tend to have the highest levels of sexual harassment. This statistic may seem daunting, but still, the media often fails to cover these cases.
Though many people have seen a glimmer of hope that sexual harassment in the workplace will be taken more seriously, numerous individuals may still feel as if they have to fight alone. Facing the idea of potential retaliation for complaints may keep many people from even making reports. However, New York workers may wish to remember that they have legal options, and speaking with knowledgeable attorneys could help them determine the best ways to handle their predicaments.
Source: vox.com, “Women of color in low-wage jobs are overlooked in the #MeToo moment,” P.R. Lockhart, Dec. 19, 2017