HOUSTON, Texas. Sexual harassment has, for a long time, been a topic covered in human resources training, something we all knew happened, but seldom heard about. What has changed? Sexual harassment has always existed and it isn’t likely that the number of sexual harassment attacks have suddenly gone up. Still, the media has been covering women’s stories more closely and more women than ever have been willing to step forward and tell their stories. Why?
According to CNN, the “tipping point” may have come when famous women openly accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. In the past, the power dynamic had been one where a no-name woman accused a famous man of sexual harassment. It was all too easy for the man in power to claim that the woman was looking for fame. But the women who came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein were all famous in their own right. The fame of the women who chose to speak out made their stories more credible to the media and to those following them.
Yet, this raises an important question. How can women who are not famous stop sexual harassment? What happens in a work environment when a man isn’t famous, where publicizing the man’s actions won’t have the same effect as when a man is in the spotlight? One writer for the New York Times wisely noted that, “It’s unlikely that many newspapers care about a disgusting night-shift manager at the local Denny’s.” So, what can you do if you are that woman? What can you do when you don’t have a Twitter following in the millions or a celebrity brand behind you?
Service workers, domestic workers, and women who work in traditionally male-dominated fields like oil field workers or line workers may find themselves in tough situations where they have to choose between reporting sexual harassment and weathering potential reprisals. A lone woman reporting sexual harassment is more likely to be silenced than a group. So, what can you do?
For one, report the situation to human resources. If you are concerned about retaliation, ask for anonymity. Secondly, consider speaking to a qualified sexual harassment attorney in Houston, Texas. Moore & Associates are qualified Houston, Texas sexual harassment lawyers who can help you if you feel that your reports have fallen on deaf ears or if your reports have led to lost job opportunities or lost wages.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, now is actually a good time to step forward. More people are aware of the situation and you may be more likely to find people willing to pay attention and believe you. The #metoo movement has sparked dialogues on social media, which has engaged men in the conversation.
However, if you plan to take legal action for sexual harassment, it is important to protect yourself. Moore & Associates are sexual harassment attorneys in Houston, Texas who can work with you to build your case, seek damages, and protect others at your company from