Workplace sexual harassment occurs in all different types of New York industries in New York. In November, ABC News brought 10 women together who had all experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. While each of the 10 women worked in a different industry, a majority of them had experienced workplace sexual harassment on more than four occasions.
One of the women in the ABC News interview said that during her 10-year career in the hospitality industry, she could never walk into a restaurant kitchen without hearing a whistle. Another woman said that someone at work had used guilt to manipulate her into agreeing to sexual activity. Only two of the women who were interviewed said that they had complained to human resources about the sexual harassment they were experiencing.
Women experience sexual harassment much more frequently than men. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, just 17.1 percent of the 6,822 sexual harassment claims that were filed in 2015 involved male plaintiffs. One of the women who was interviewed by ABC News said that deciding whether to complain about sexual harassment feels like a decision between values and career. However, all of the women said that it was important to take a stand against sexual harassment.
While many women feel like they would be sacrificing their careers if they were to complain about workplace sexual harassment, plaintiffs are legally protected from retaliation from their employers. If an employer does retaliate against an employee for complaining about sexual harassment, such as by a demotion or termination, having the assistance of an attorney might be advisable for a victim who is seeking redress.