Residents in Massachusetts and around the country have been keenly aware of the continuing problem the nation is facing when it comes to sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace. Despite continuing progress in some areas, women and even some men still experience discrimination or harassing behavior. The Me Too movement has brought this topic to the forefront of the national conversation. Now, several senators and congressional representatives are taking action.
When Massachusetts residents experience sexual harassment at work, they may sometimes think there is nothing they can do about the situation. However, there are several steps people can take to let their employers know what is going on.
If you are successful in your career, you probably work every day towards making and strengthening positive, professional connections. Sexual harassment has the potential to undermine your credibility as well as directly damage your position, should you fail to comply with demands or tolerate unwanted advances.
As someone who counts yourself among the many victims of workplace sexual harassment in Massachusetts who never came forward with your story, you may have clear reasons for failing to publicize what happened to you. You may, too, not fully understand what kept you from reporting the unsavory behavior, but regardless of your reasoning for not speaking out, you are not alone in your decision to stay quiet.
Two women involved in a sexual harassment case that occurred when they were employees of the Massachusetts State Police, a supervisor as the alleged harasser and a subordinate as the alleged victim, both claim that they received inadequate protection from the state and that the system is set up to protect only itself.
Sexual harassment is a major issue at a wide-variety of workplaces throughout Massachusetts and across the country. If you have been the unfortunate recipient of an unwelcomed comment, touch, suggestion or proposition, you know that it can make the workplace awkward and an uncomfortable environment to get the job done. In some cases, sexual harassment can be so severe that you may be unable to move up the corporate ladder or be forced to quit your job because of the abuse. As a victim of harassment, you may be threatened that if you do not perform the unwanted act or accept the harassment, you may lose your position or standing with the company.
When you show up to work in Massachusetts, chances are, your objective is to get your job done and then get back to the things you truly enjoy. When you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, however, the trickle-down effects can prove considerable, and they can affect your emotions and overall well-being both inside and out of the workplace. Regrettably, workplace sexual harassment is not at all uncommon in America, but that does not necessarily mean it is easy for victims of this type of behavior to come forward.
High-level seats in companies are usually reserved for competitive, dedicated and connected individuals. If you have made it to an executive or managerial position -- or if you have your eye on one -- then you probably have a keen instinct and a drive to succeed. You are also probably dedicated to maintaining a strict professionalism -- a principle that could lead you to intense disappointment should a co-worker step over the line, entering into the territory of sexual harassment. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we are proud to consult with Massachusetts professionals about these issues in order to preserve reputations, stabilize situations at work and pursue results that align with career goals.
When allegations of sexual harassment make their way into Massachusetts and the nation's headlines, the victims are frequently women, but men are not immune to being victims of this type of behavior in the workplace. In fact, about one-third of all employed American men in a recent survey reported being a victim of sexual harassment sometime within the last year, although there is limited information available about how this type of behavior can emotionally impact men. At Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, we recognize that women are not the only victims of workplace sexual harassment, and we have helped many men and women who were victims of such behavior pursue appropriate recourse.
If you are a female Massachusetts worker who answered "no" to the above question, thinking such a thing could not possibly happen in this day and age, you may wish to think again based on what recently happened to a pregnant Georgia employee. As reported by CNN, a woman employed in the Walmart Distribution Center in Atlanta developed morning sickness one day last summer while at work. The chain of events that followed is almost unbelievable, but nevertheless took place.