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Working in a male-dominated field may increase risk of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment occurs in a myriad of workplace circumstances. From the technology field to corrections and law enforcement, women often face unwelcome sexual overtures in the workplace.

An unwelcome sexual advance, a veiled request for a sexual favor or sexual jokes and gestures are all examples of sexual harassment that may affect work performance and create a hostile work environment.

The first examples come from the male dominated tech industry, which includes computer programmers, software and app developers as well as venture capitalists.

Recently, a technology company warned investors of a zero tolerance policy toward sexual harassment. Some women had anonymously complained that venture capitalists trick female founders into dates and make inappropriate sexual advances. There can even become an implicit quid pro quo to receive funding to launch a new app even if it might be the next Instagram.

In another recent case, a co-founder of the company Tinder filed a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint against her former employer. She alleged that her supervisor called her a “whore” in front of other employees and the CEO and sent abusive text messages. In addition, her complaint alleges that her supervisor removed her co-founder designation after saying that having a 24-year-old female co-founder “devalued” the company and made it seem like a “joke.” The workplace became so hostile that the woman ultimately resigned.

Not only do examples come from the rapidly developing technology sector, but also the age-old industry of law enforcement.

Blatant sexual harassment alleged in Florida

A case filed by a corrections officer with the Florida Department of Corrections in Lee County also details explicit sexual harassment. The officer asserted that she dealt with co-workers who repeatedly called her derogatory names and stated she should “be barefoot and pregnant and not working.”

Physical harassment allegedly added to the verbal harassment. A co-worker groped her breasts in front of others. Co-workers also keyed her car multiple times.

When she refused to go on a date with a co-worker, she received an unfavorable detail. Supervisors did not stop the conduct and even participated. After almost two years, her workplace became so intolerable that she resigned.

The details contained in the complaint occurred over several years. Tracking incidents and details of harassment in a log can help prove a claim. Record actual language used and dates of the occurrences, because memory fades and it can be hard to separate out incidents.

When superiors fail to address sexual harassment complaints and the atmosphere becomes hostile, remedies exist. An employment law attorney can explain how the law applies in your individual circumstances.