Have you seen the words ‘Me Too’ in your social media feed lately? In the wake of media mogul Harvey Weinstein’s termination from his own film studio and expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for sexual assault allegations, women are sharing these two words in growing numbers. The ‘Me Too’ movement aims to raise awareness around the prevalence of sexual harassment.
But just how prevalent is it? According to a recent study, 54% of people surveyed experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace alone. Of those, 12% received a threat of termination if they didn’t comply with advances or if they reported the offense.
These are no small numbers. And what’s more, these are just those willing to answer truthfully. Sadly, in our culture, sexual harassment is vastly underreported, as women and men alike put their heads down and plow through in order to keep employment or advance their career without making waves.
Now, with more and more cases of workplace harassment coming to light and perpetrators paying the consequences, perhaps it’s time we don’t let the little things – or the big – go anymore.
So what exactly is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, as well as any verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. What’s more, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 deems sexual harassment discrimination, and therefore illegal in companies with more than 15 employees.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment, you have a right to report it. The question is, how?
Fortunately, many companies today have policies in place to help with reporting cases of discrimination. Here’s some steps you can take:
- Inform the offender at once that their behavior is unwelcome. In cases of inappropriate comments, that may be enough.
- If the offensive behavior continues or is more serious in nature, such as physical advances, alert your superior or manager to the situation.
- If your company has an HR department, speak with a representative about filing a report.
- If the steps above either aren’t possible or don’t resolve the situation, consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Here at Mulling Corporation, we are committed to helping you and your organization prevent discrimination such as sexual harassment. Together, we can help reduce the list of ‘Me Too’s’ in the workplace today.