The star studded 75thGolden Globes made headlines all over the world in 2018, with almost everyone decided to grace the red carpet in complete black, in support of the #MeToo campaign. There couldn’t have been a more impactful way of raising awareness about sexual harassment and gender inequality at the workplace, whether in Hollywood or the rest of the world. These awards became the first major Hollywood awards ceremony that was dominated by powerful speeches about Hollywood’s sexual abuse scandal.
Angry, embarrassed, helpless, hopeless, are only some of the common feelings a person experiences when they face sexual harassment. In the US, more than 90% women who have been victim to sexual harassment suffer from some debilitating stress reaction, including depression, anxiety, headaches, weight issues, sleep disorders, low self esteem, nausea, and,in many cases, sexual dysfunction, according to Equal Rights Advocates, an organization fighting for women’s equality in America.
Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
According to The Law Offices of Jack Quentin Nichols, leading Employment Law Attorney in Austin, sexual harassment is much more common at the workplace than anyone can imagine. It can bring serious consequences for anyone exposed to such a situation. Equal Rights Advocates also found that each year, victims of sexual harassment in the US lose $4.4 million in wages and 973,000 hours in unpaid leave.
Such harassment can be defined as unwelcomed sexual conduct by an employer or co-worker. This can serious damage one’s confidence and self-esteem. The work environment becomes unpleasant and hostile for the victim, where the person is left with no other option than to eventually quit the job. And if they continue to work despite the emotional and physical consequences of such trauma, it affects their productivity, which again raises the risk of them losing their job due to poor performance.
Many women hesitate to tell anyone about such experiences for fear of losing out on chances of promotion or losing her job altogether. In many cases, to avoid adverse consequences, she gives in the sexual demands made by a person in authority.
Initially, many women might believe that this experience was driven by their own conduct in the workplace. Their behavior or apparel might be blamed for sending the “wrong” message. However, the only person to blame for such harassment is the perpetrator.
What can Women Do?
A working woman has the right to file a complaint against sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior at the workplace, which is illegal under both state and federal law. The victim, however, needs to pen down the details of the incident(s), gather any physical evidence that could help the claim and mention and take statements from possible witnesses, suggest employment lawyers in Austin and Houston, Texas (TX).
However, once a woman files a claim against an employer or co-worker, it is likely to generate massive negative publicity for the employer involved, especially if s/he is the owner of a reputed firm, and it is most likely to be the end of the career of the offender as well, says an article published by The Entrepreneur on January 10, 2018.
It is for this reason that proper investigation of the claim becomes more than important, since it can cost someone their career, in case the accusations are false.