HOUSTON, Texas. Time Magazine recently announced its coveted “Person of the Year” cover. The people of the year for 2017 are the silence breakers—those who bravely spoke up about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The Hollywood Harvey Weinstein scandal has shed light on the difficulty women face across many industries. After all, not all women have the power, prestige, and access to the media that stars have. Yet, Time notes that if female movie stars couldn’t stop a sexual harasser and assaulter for so many years, how much more difficult must it be for women who work in the food industry or for those who work in other jobs where the chance of reprisal is much higher?
The Time cover features women from a range of fields and professions—to highlight how pervasive the problem is. The cover features Taylor Swift, the Uber engineer who spoke out after leaving the company, a hospital worker, and a farm worker. One woman chose to remain anonymous.
Women told their stories of what it cost to fight back. Some had to go to work and face their assaulters even while their cases moved through human resources and the court system. Taylor Swift spoke about how her assaulter’s lawyer tried to make her feel bad for the consequences of his actions. It’s a common story. A harasser engages in bad behavior and then tries to use the victim’s guilt to keep her silent.
Yet, women still struggle when it comes to reporting sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. According to Time, as many as 60 million women may be bound by forced arbitration agreements that makes it impossible for them to sue their employers in court for sexual harassment. These agreements keep acts of harassment out of the public eye and keep women who have been abused in the shadows.
The conversation is certainly changing. Democratic senators have called for Al Franken to resign, according to CNN. And recently, he finally did resign. This comes after at least six women have accused the senator of inappropriate contact.
Companies are likely to begin rethinking culture and enforcement of sexual harassment, but these changes can be too slow for women who are already suffering from sexual harassment or assault. So, what can you do? If you have been sexually harassed on the job, make a complaint with human resources. If human resources fails to take what you believe is appropriate action, you may want to speak to a qualified attorney. Moore & Associates are sexual harassment attorneys in Houston, Texas who work closely with individuals who have suffered from sexual harassment on the job. Our firm understands employment law and can use the full protections of the law to help you get the justice and compensation you may deserve if your harassment has damaged your career, your reputation, your ability to gain advancement, or if your harassment has resulted in emotional or physical challenges. Visit our website at https://www.mooreandassociates.net/ to learn more about us today.