Sexual harassment towards men occurs more often than people think

More men are coming forward as victims of sexual harassment, which can have implications on their ability to work.

When people generally think of sexual harassment in the workplace, they may instantly picture the victim as a woman. An increasing number of men, however, have come forward indicating that they too are victims of sexual harassment in Pennsylvania and across the country. There may be several reasons for this rise in male sexual harassment victims. More women occupy upper level management positions in major companies and the U.S. workforce has seen an increase of women workers altogether. Whatever the case may be, men have rights when it comes to dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.

The facts

It is hard to accurately calculate just how many men are victims of sexual harassment in the country. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that out of the 6,822 sexual harassment claims made in 2015, just over 17 percent were made by male employees. This is a significant increase from the 16.2 percent of males who claimed sexual harassment in 2010. These numbers leave some people wondering if the actual number of male harassment cases have increased or if more males are simply coming forward to report these incidences. Regardless, there are thought to be many more cases that continue to go unreported.

What is sexual harassment?

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment includes both unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances. This can include making sexually-oriented comments, making physical advances toward someone and/or asking another person to perform sexual acts in order to keep his or her position in the company. The most common forms of harassment involves unwanted hugging, kissing, cornering or touching.

Gender harassment occurs when a person is undermined or bullied because of their sex. For example, a woman may voice strong feminist views as she exhibits her power within a company, while inadvertently putting down her male counterparts and associates.

Fighting back

When people are sexually harassed, it can affect their ability to perform at their given position. Furthermore, workers may feel as though their job is on the line if they do not comply with the harassment or if they choose to report it. If you have faced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be uncertain of where to turn when it comes to defending your rights to work in a healthy environment. An attorney in Pennsylvania who has experience in dealing with sexual harassment cases may be able to help you explore your legal options and answer any questions you have regarding your case.