New York residents may have heard about sexual harassment scandals at large companies like Uber and Sterling Jewelers. These incidents have come to light at a time in which there has been an increased awareness of the phenomenon. Therefore, a person may imagine that companies would do more to prevent such incidents from happening.
New York residents may have heard about a class-action arbitration brought against Sterling Jewelers by thousands of current and former female employees. Sterling is the parent company of retailers such as Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers. The lawsuit claims that a culture of harassment has existed within the organization since the 1990s. It should be noted that not all of the parties to the suit are claiming that they were sexually harassed.
New York employees who may have been adversely affected by sexual harassment in the workplace may be interested in one case that could ultimately have far-reaching implications. On Nov. 4, a federal judge in Pennsylvania accepted arguments that alleged anti-gay discrimination was based on sex stereotypes, which violates protections that are offered by Title VII. Of additional import, however, is a footnote by the judge noting that a "compelling juxtaposition" concerning racial discrimination was also presented in the matter.
Many women who work in fast food restaurants in New York and around the country experience sexual harassment from coworkers, managers and customers. A study that was conducted by Hart Research Associates found that 40 percent of female fast food workers have been sexually harassed on the job, and many of those women feel like they have to put up with it to keep their jobs.
In cases involving sexual harassment in New York workplaces, it may take a victim a long time to speak out about what happened. This may be because the person who commits the act may be in a position of power while the victim may be someone who society may look down upon or otherwise value less than others. Over time, such behavior may become commonplace and another part of the social order.
More than half of women working in advertising across the U.S. and who were surveyed by 4A have faced some form of sexual harassment on the job. The industry trade group released its preliminary findings on Aug. 11 and will release a full report later this year.
Although America may elect its first woman president in 2016, sexual harassment is still a major issue in many companies. In early July, Gretchen Carlson, who used to co-host a popular Fox News show, filed a harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the CEO of the network. In addition to her being subjected to unwanted advances, she also claimed in her lawsuit that another former colleague displayed sexist behavior toward her. Some believe that the issue is so prevalent because it may be hard to define.
When people in New York think about sexual harassment in the workplace, they will likely envision quid pro quo harassment. This term describes an owner, manager or supervisor asking for sexual favors in exchange for something like a promotion, raise, more hours or avoidance of termination. A hostile work environment, however, goes beyond clearly stated sexual requests. Indirect actions can create a sexually uncomfortable place to work. Hostility can also include negative attitudes toward other employees on the basis of gender, race, religion or ethnicity. The workplace conditions could even impact employees who are not the direct target of harassment.
According to a study published in JAMA, 30 percent of female doctors said that they were victims of sexual harassment. Only 4 percent of men said that they had dealt with unwanted sexual advances or other forms of harassment. The study looked at 1,066 physicians who had received a career development award from the National Institute of Health.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri indicates that how employees interpret sexual harassment policies could be counterproductive. This may be surprising for New York workers and employers because nearly every organization has one of these policies and many of them offer training to prevent harassment.