New York employees who have been in the workplace for decades may find that while general awareness about workplace sexual harassment has increased, the issue continues to be a problem. In a 1980 survey by the Harvard Business Journal, fewer than 30 percent of companies had a formal policy against sexual harassment and only 8 percent provided training in the form of manuals and films. Today, 98 percent of companies have sexual harassment policies in place and 70 percent have some kind of training. However, sexual harassment persists as a workplace problem as has been demonstrated with the high-profile firing of Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly on April 19.
New York residents may have heard about a class-action claim against Sterling Jewelry. The first claims were filed in 2008, and the matter eventually involved more than 69,000 employees. The plaintiffs alleged that the company engaged in promotion discrimination as well as sexual harassment against women. Among the allegations were claims of being groped or being asked for sex in exchange for promotions or other prime assignments.
New York residents who shop at stores such as Kay Jewelers or Zales may be interested to learn that Sterling Jewelers, the parent company of those retailers, is facing a class-action sexual harassment arbitration case according to the Washington Post. The class includes 69,000 current and former female workers in addition to statements from 250 former employees outlining an alleged culture of sexual harassment over two decades.
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.
The advertising business of the 1950s and 1960s was depicted as highly misogynistic in the New York-based period drama 'Mad Men," and fans of the highly rated show may be shocked to learn that sexual harassment still appears to be a major problem for the industry. The American Association of Advertising Agencies asked about 400 female advertising employees about their workplace experiences, and more than half of them said that they felt at least somewhat vulnerable to unfair treatment.