Every Florida employee should be able to show up to his or her place of work free from the fear of experiencing negative or inappropriate treatment. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many workers. Despite both state and federal laws that prohibit any type of harassment at work, sexual harassment is still a problem in many types of workplaces.
Women are often victims of sexual harassment, but men are victims of this type of treatment more often than you may think. Because of the stigma often associated with sexual harassment, men frequently feel too uncomfortable to speak out when they experience this type of treatment. When victims cannot speak out, they cannot seek justice or seek to hold liable parties accountable for the pain and suffering they experienced.
A common problem
One man reports that he began to experience sexual harassment in his workplace that progressively became worse over time. It started as simple jokes, but it became more aggressive. Eventually, he reported what he was experiencing to his employer, but he says the company allowed it to continue. Some of the things he experienced included sexual propositions, comments and even retaliation for reporting it. He eventually filed a lawsuit against the employer.
Statistics find that around 10% of men report experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. Approximately one in five claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are filed by men. Obviously, these numbers do not reflect the number of men who are afraid to speak or too embarrassed to file a report. A close look at harassment claims by gender finds that men are more likely to experience harassment from other men, but it is not uncommon for women to be instigators.
What should victims do?
If a man is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, he does not have to face this problem alone. It can be intimidating to speak out, which is why it is helpful to work with an experienced attorney from the very beginning.
Employers are accountable for allowing inappropriate behaviors to continue and failing to protect workers who report problems. You could have grounds to file a claim against your employer. The civil justice system provides harassment victims a way to pursue damages for the emotional and mental trauma they experienced as a result of their work environments.