For many men, the topic of sexual harassment at work can be difficult to navigate, especially with the spotlight being turned on how often it occurs against women in particular. However, men do have the power to be proactive when it comes to helping to prevent it from occurring in California workplaces.
One way that men can help address sexual harassment at work is by not turning a blind eye to incidents of sexual harassment even if they are not directly involved. If they witness sexual harassment and fail to address inappropriate behavior, they can cause harm simply by being a bystander. Further, being an ally often means correcting inappropriate behavior even if the women experiencing sexual harassment are not present.
Another way men can act as an ally is to speak with the person being harassed before going straight to a higher authority. This way, they can determine how best to help those who are actively being sexually harassed at work. They can also ask their employer for additional training if sexual harassment or sex discrimination is not clearly outlined in the employee handbook. Finally, men can take the initiative to learn more about how sexual harassment can have an impact in the workplace by talking to their loved ones about their particular experiences.
Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of sex discrimination. If a person reports incidents of sexual harassment and the employer fails to act or punishes the person for making the report, which could include unlawful retaliation like a demotion, that individual may have legal recourse. A employment rights attorney may help gather evidence that demonstrates that the employee was punished for making claims of sexual harassment. The next step could be to file a claim with the appropriate state or federal agency.