When most people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, they imagine a female who has been wrongly addressed or inappropriately treated by a fellow employee or even their employer. Yet, men are harassed on the job as well, even though some may wrongly snicker at the idea of someone preying upon a male. ABC News reported in 2011 that one out of every ten men claim to have been sexually harassed on the job. Unfortunately, if you are like a lot of men who feel violated, you will come forward with your experiences. Here is a look at why you may avoid reporting sexual harassment as a man and the reasons you really should.
You may feel like the report will not be taken seriously.
Someone is aggressively pursuing you sexually on the job and their comments make you extremely uncomfortable. If you walk into the human resources or management office to file a report and you get snickers and giggles, your employer could be legally pursued for not taking the situation seriously. The bottom line with sexual harassment is this: It is no joke and you do have the right to have your claim investigated and properly handled. If it is not, you should contact a sexual harassment attorney right away.
You fear the sexual harassment claim will be turned on you.
If the sexual harassment you experienced was from a female, you may think that reporting sexual harassment will leave you looking like the guilty party--especially if the female accused of harassment tries to turn the tables and point the finger at you. While an accused may try to blame the accuser of the same action they are guilty of committing, if you are the first one to report, it is highly unlikely her claims will be taken seriously. Furthermore, employers have a legal obligation to thoroughly investigate sexual harassment claims regardless of "he-said-she-said" conflict.
The experience makes you feel like less of a man and ashamed.
Some men will not report a sexual harassment incident because they feel like claiming they feel threatened or mistreated in a sexual context makes them somehow seem less masculine. However, experiencing harassment has nothing to do with your masculinity. You have a legal right to feel comfortable at work, and even if a sexual advance is not threatening in nature, it can make you feel uncomfortable, which should be immediately reported. Contact a sexual harassment attorney to learn more.