In the last installment, I promised to continue with my exploration of sexual harassment in the workplace from a micro and macro perspective, so here goes. You may recall my account of my former boss’s campaign to discredit me because I filed a complaint against him with HR. The extent of his efforts to damage my good name and reputation is equal to the depths of his depravity and emotional instability.
If I were a weaker person I probably would have cracked by now but I take solace in the fact that many of my ancestors were slaves who went through hell and survived so that I can be here. I’d like to think their strength and courage is part of my DNA. So, even though there are still some knuckleheads out there who continue to believe the wildly inaccurate and ridiculous rumors my old boss has managed to spread about me, my head is bloodied but unbowed.
Food for thought: If I am convinced that you are a chair and I operate on that assumption (e.g. I try to sit on you) anyone using a reality based view of life is going to see those actions (e.g. me trying to sit on you) as pretty freaking crazy. And so, gentle readers I give you the case of anyone who continues to base their assumptions about me on the rumor campaign begun by my old sick and demented boss. Bottom line: I am not a freaking terrorist, OK?
Now on to what’s really happening with sexual harassment complaints. Although according to the EEOC, the majority of sexual harassment complaints are filed by women against men. The numbers of men filing sexual harassment charges has risen. The mean average for the number of complaints filed from 2007 to 2011 was 12,431 out of which, an average of 16.1% were filed by men.
What interests me is that overall, with the exception of a spike in 2008, in the five year period from 2007 to 2011 the number of EEOC complaints filed for sexual harassment steadily dropped from 12,510 in 2007 to 11,364 in 2011. In fact, since 1997 complaints filed have been dropping, with the exception of some anomalous spike years like 2008. (What was happening in 2008?) However, monetary settlements (not due to litigation/court action) have steadily increased, from $49.9 mil in 2007 to $52.3 mil in 2011.
Sadly, in 2011 53% of the complaints filed were deemed by the EEOC to have shown no “reasonable cause” that sexual harassment had occurred. I say sadly, because in all probability many of those cases had merit but the victim could not prove their case.
If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment, on the job or anywhere else consult an attorney who specializes in this area of the law immediately to find out what your legal options are. Something I wished I had done.
Here are some helpful links: