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Can men be sexually harassed at work?

It’s true that a vast majority of sexual harassment in the workplace involves women. However, numerous men have also fallen victim to these offenses and they can have devastating effects on both professionally and at home. Markeplace.com offers the following example of how male sexual harassment occurs and what can be done about it. 

Sexual harassment often involves a person in a position of power using his or her authority to pursue subordinates romantically. This was the case with a man holding an entry-level position at a company who claims he was harassed by his female boss. When he complained about the harassment to higher ups he was not believed, and many of co-workers took his admissions as a joke. The harassment only ended when the man changed jobs.

Stories like this explains why most victims of harassment, both male and female, never actually report the incidents. It’s estimated that 14 percent of men in the U.S. have experienced workplace harassment at some point in their careers. Additionally, 17 percent of harassment claims made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017 were file by men. Despite these numbers, many men remain embarrassed to file claims due to the stigma attached.

Accordingly, it’s up to workplaces to make sure a hostile environment does not exist, which can be achieved by having clear instructions on how incidents can be reported. Management must also take allegations of harassment seriously, while taking the proper steps to interview all people involved in order to make an accurate assessment of the case. Employees faced with harassment can do their part by documenting all incidents, as well as what occurs when they report the issue to their supervisors.

 

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