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Rates of sexual harassment against men on the rise

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2018 | Employment Litigation

While sexual harassment is generally thought of as a man harassing a woman, the roles may be reversed. Men are victims of sexual harassment as well. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, incidents of men being harassed by women in the workplace are on the rise. In 2014, 17.5 percent of sexual harassment charges were filed by men, which is a dramatic increase from the 11 percent that was reported in 1997. These numbers are thought to be underrepresented of the number of sexual harassment cases against men that actually occur, as a number of men do not want to report the case for fear of embarrassment or retaliation.

Sexual harassment involves any type of unwanted or unwelcomed advance, whether it is physical or verbal. This may include a back massage, hug, grab or an invitation to engage in a sexual act. In some cases, a person may be threatened that if they do not comply with the harassment, they will not advance in their job or may lose their position altogether.

In one instance, a woman was charged with sexual harassment after sending suggestive messages to her subordinate for years. She would draw pictures of the two of them together and ask the worker to stay late to help her in her office. The male worker was uncomfortable to attend work and at one point, felt as though his job was in jeopardy if he did not comply with his bosses wishes. Although the majority of sexual harassment claims are for men harassing women, men can be the victims of harassment as well.