More and more men are becoming concerned about being sexually harassed by male bosses or co-workers. However, when they think of sexual harassment in the workplace, many people think of a male employer or worker sexually harassing a female worker. Many people do not think of sexual harassment as entailing a male boss or co-worker harassing a male employee. Unfortunately, this stereotype makes it hard for men to come forward when they fall victim to inappropriate workplace conduct. If you are a male worker who’s been the victim of male-on-male sexual harassment, you have every right to take legal action. You have the right to sue and get the justice and compensation you deserve. Regardless of how you identify, it is illegal for your male boss or co-worker to harass you sexually.
Male on Male Sexual Harassment Is Illegal
Most people assume that sexual harassment only applies in different-gender situations. This is far from the truth. It also applies in same-gender cases, meaning it applies in male-male and female-female situations.
In 1997, in the case of Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, the Supreme Court noted that Title VII protects men and women from sexual harassment regardless of the gender of the involved parties. In this case, several male workers sexually harassed a male employee. The workers performed physical and sexual acts with the employee and verbally abused him.
Unfortunately, more such cases have occurred over the past years. For example, in 2017, the EEOC sued a company called Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours for male-on-male sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit, the male president of the tour company engaged in a pattern of sexually harassing male employees. The employees went through, among other things, the following;
- Being asked to join sex parties
- Being asked to engage in sexual acts to be given employment opportunities
- Being shown pornographic materials
- Being asked to expose themselves so they can be considered for employment
Unfortunately, when the employees reported the conduct, nothing was done. Because of this, many had to quit their jobs. Others also had to quit because of retaliation.
When EEOC settled the case, the parties entered a consent decree providing over $500,000 in damages to a class of male employees.
Sexual Harassment Is Not Just About Sexual Acts
Just because your boss or co-worker has not asked you to engage in sexual acts does not mean you are not a victim of male-on-male sexual harassment. The definition of sexual harassment is quite broad. For example, being shown pornographic pictures or videos does not involve a sexual act but is considered sexual harassment. For men, other forms of sexual harassment that do not involve sexual acts could include;
- Being called feminine or women’s names
- Being told you do not fit a masculine stereotype
- Being held to a stereotypical expectation of male behavior
Contact The Trabosh Law Firm
Speak up if you believe you are a victim of male-on-male sexual harassment in the workplace. Reach out to an experienced employment discrimination lawyer who can help you protect your legal rights. At Trabosh Law Firm, we can offer you professional legal representation and dedicatedly fight for your rights. Contact us today to discuss your case.