Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual Harassment may be defined as:  
    • Visual, verbal or physical unwelcome sexual contact that is pervasive or severe, that makes for an uncomfortable work environment or prevents you from doing your job.

    • It can be further described as“He (she) said, or showed me something, or did something of a sexual nature—and now I can’t do my job.” 

  • Advice to Women.  Megyn Kelly, a Fox News anchor and a lawyer, experienced unwanted sexual advances by her former boss.  Megyn says that most women are scared and don't know what to do.  They are afraid to speak up for fear of being labeled as a troublemaker.  They want it to stop, and don't want to risk losing their job or putting their career on the line.  Megyn says her heart is with other women who are experiencing sexual harassment. 

    Megyn advises women to

    • Avoid the person who is harassing you.

    • Speak with a lawyer to document the concern in the event the person retaliates against you for refusing his advances.

    • Reach out to other women to see if this is a serial issue or just an issue with you, and then

    • Take the matter to a woman of power who is a supervisor, a person who can advise you well, or go to bat for you.  That supervisor then has an obligation to take the matter to the company and deal with it; and if that doesn't happen, the company could be exposed as a legal matter.  (Megyn Kelly, author of Settle for More, appeared on CBS This Morning, November 16, 2016) 

  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.  It takes courage for women to speak up.  This is a silent and secret epidemic.  Women face an excruciating decision when sexually harassed:   Take the abuse, or take on a culture where the odds are stacked against you.  Will you be believed, retaliated against, or lose your job? 

    We must change our laws.  Did you know forced arbitration clauses -- common now in employee contracts -- keep women's complaints secret, take away your 7th Amendment right to an open jury process, and many times allow perpetrators to stay in their jobs?

    Bystanders must become allies. Anyone who witnesses sexual harassment has the power to help, and men are especially important partners in this fight. The more men are determined to hold their peers accountable and reject the "boys will be boys" excuse, the faster we can stop harassment cold.

    Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson offers her perspective on sexual harassment in the workplace in her book "Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back.”
    (Source:  Gretchen Carlson on sexual harassment in the workplace, CBS News, October 15, 2017)