When people think about sexual harassment, they most likely think women are the ones being sexually harassed, but males are increasingly facing sexual harassment in the workplace. Furthermore, we're seeing more men file sexual harassment charges.
What percentage of men file sexual harassment charges? Is it significant? According to the EEOC, in FY 2016, men filed 16.6% of the 6,758 charges alleging sexual harassment.
Who can sexually harass men in the workplace? Men can be sexually harassed by male or female co-workers, managers, or supervisors. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, either verbal or physical, that affects the individual's ability to perform their job duties. This could mean that the harasser has created an intimidating or hostile work environment.
Some examples of sexual harassment toward men include:
- Images posted of a sexual nature in the office;
- Offensive comments, jokes, or names;
- Pressured sexual advances;
- Requests for sexual favors;
- Simulated sex acts;
- Use of female pronouns;
- Unwelcome touching;
- or, Threats of firing or retaliation for turning down sexual advances.
What brings men to file charges?
Many men who have suffered a disruptive, hostile, or offensive work environment due to sexual harassment have come forward and filed charges through the EEOC. In many cases, men who have turned down or tried to stop their supervisor's sexual harassment have suffered as a result, whether it be worse employee hours, retaliation, demotion, or other reasons. Many charges have led to successful awards for victims.
Why don't most men file sexual harassment charges?
Some reasons why men don't come forward and complain or file charges against their harassers include:
- Fear of embarrassment;
- Worry about what their coworkers may think;
- Lack of awareness about male sexual harassment in the workplace, especially male on male harassment;
- Not wanting to go through their company's internal sexual harassment procedures.
If you have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace and have further questions, send us a message, or contact an experienced attorney.