Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Behind Closed Doors: Workplace Harassment - THE FLAT HAT

by  Elizabeth Barto
Originally published: April 10, 2017

Over the past few months, Fox News has appeared twice in the spotlight of workplace harassment news over the allegations presented against its former network chairman, Roger Ailes, and current Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly. At this point, stories about rich men leveraging their power in attempts to coerce those they work with are the real “tale as old as time” (move over Beast, Gaston can help you advance your career, Belle). Especially in light of the recent election of Donald Trump, whose lack of decorum in professional settings I’m sure I don’t even have to outline for you, it can be difficult to treat the rampant media coverage of workplace sexual harassment as anything more than a discouraging sea of white noise.

So, why should another story about some boss whose Achilles’ heel was their libido paired with a complete lack of conduct or courtesy matter to you? First, let me give you some numbers …

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states on its “Women in the American Workforce” page that one in every four women will face workplace harassment in their lives.  A 2015 Cosmopolitan survey claims that between the ages of 18-34 that ratio changes to one in three women. Which isn’t to say that men aren’t also at risk for workplace harassment. In 2013, 18% of the sexual harassment charges brought before the EEOC and state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies were filed by men.