In recent posts, this blog has discussed numerous ways employees are subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, especially women in fields where this is common, such as the restaurant industry. However, many California residents may not realize that men can be victims of sexual harassment, as well. In fact, harassment is not limited to gender on either side.
The Epoch Times describes a case of sexual harassment against a male employee of Google. The man claimed his supervisor repeatedly subjected him to lewd acts and other forms of sexual harassment, and said his co-workers regularly engaged in sexually explicit conversations and incidents he found offensive and uncomfortable. He initially ignored the behavior, fearing for his job, but eventually reported it to human resources and requested an investigation. Reportedly, the man was terminated after the completion of the internal investigation, and he filed a lawsuit against the company.
Sexual harassment against men may be more common than people assume. The Washington Post cited a CNBC poll, in which 10 percent of men said they were sexually harassed at work. Additionally, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that nearly one-fifth of all claims filed with the agency are from men. The real numbers of sexual harassment against men may be underestimated, since men might be too embarrassed to report the incidents or be afraid that they won’t be believed.
People may be the most surprised to learn that males most often initiate sexual harassment against other men. It is true that women can harass others, and men who do so against men might be sexually motivated. However, male-against-male sexual harassment is often an attempt to assert power over another.