Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton

Women are not the only victims of harassment

When people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, they often think of a man harassing a woman with either unwanted advances, explicit remarks or threats. The truth is, men are victims of harassment as well in California and across the entire country. Yet, these incidents are not heard of as often. More and more men are reporting cases of being harassed at work by other men or female coworkers or management, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The number rose from 11.6 percent of sexual harassment claims coming from men in 1997, to over 16 percent in 2011. In all actuality, this number is thought to be much higher, as many men do not report these incidents because they are embarrassed.

Men can be victims of sexual harassment by women in management. A female boss may tell the male employee that they are unable to advance in the company if they do not perform certain activities. Women may say inappropriate comments or touch male employees in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

In one situation, a man employed in the media industry was harassed by his female boss. In addition to repeatedly asking him to take her out, she continually informed him that she worked late at night alone. She made inappropriate drawings of his body and showed them to him. In time, she became hostile toward him when he did not take her out. All of these advances are examples of harassment and they happen more than some may think.

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