Originally published: March 26, 2020 -- Updated: October 9, 2023
Update: As discussed below, sexual harassment in the workplace can affect men just as much as it does women. Men may experience unfair treatment when they report inappropriate behavior, and they could face issues such as retaliation or termination. For anyone who has experienced these issues, it is important to understand what legal options may be available. To do so, victims of sexual harassment can consult with an attorney who has experience representing both men and women in these types of cases.
The specific remedies that may be available will often depend on the type of sexual harassment that has occurred and the ways a victim has been affected. Cases involving quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment may be treated differently, and a victim will need to understand what steps may be taken to address these issues.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a superior making requests or demands of an employee. They may offer benefits in return for sexual favors or threaten penalties if a person does not comply with requests. These cases may involve harm to a male victim’s career or their ability to earn an income. A man who was fired, demoted, or denied opportunities because he did not comply with sexual requests may be able to be reinstated to his proper position and repaid for income he has lost, and he may also receive compensation for any other damages they have suffered.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment may involve any inappropriate words or actions that affected a person’s ability to complete their job duties successfully and succeed in their careers. A male employee who has been affected by this type of behavior may be able to seek compensation for the emotional trauma he has suffered. If he experienced retaliation after reporting sexual harassment, he may also be able to receive compensation for the ways he has been financially and personally affected.
Contact Our Wheaton Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Men who have experienced sexual harassment by male or female coworkers or supervisors will need to understand the best ways to address this issue. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our DuPage County sexual harassment lawyers can provide guidance on the options that may be available. We will provide effective legal representation when pursuing lawsuits or taking other types of action to protect a person’s right to work in a harassment-free environment. Contact us at 630-665-7300 to set up a consultation and get legal help with issues related to sexual harassment and discrimination.
When most people think about workplace sexual harassment, they assume that the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a male in a higher-ranking position. Although this situation does describe a great number of sexual harassment cases, this is not the only type of sexual harassment that exists. Men can also be victims of sexual harassment at the hands of both women and other men.
In one survey, 10 percent of male respondents reported having been sexually harassed at work. Furthermore, almost one out of every five sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are filed by men. Although men and women receive equal protection under the law against workplace sexual harassment, male sexual harassment victims often face different obstacles than female victims do.
Men May Hesitate to Report Sexual Harassment Due to Fears About Being Taken Seriously
In the movie “Horrible Bosses,” Jennifer Aniston plays an aggressive and exceedingly sexually-forward dentist. Throughout the movie, she repeatedly attempts to convince her male dental hygienist to have sexual relations with her—even going so far as grabbing the hygienist’s genitals against his will in one scene and locking him in a room with her in another scene. Although this comedy received positive reviews, many people have suggested that the audience would not have reacted the same way to this harassing behavior if the perpetrator was the male character and the female was the victim.
There is a major misconception in popular culture that sexual harassment against men is not as significant as harassment against women, or worse, that it is something to laugh about. Many male victims stay silent regarding harassment because they are afraid that they will not be taken seriously or will be retaliated against for reporting the harassment.
What to Do If You Are a Male Victim of Sexual Harassment
According to both federal and state law, men have the same rights to harassment-free and discrimination-free workplaces as women do. No one should have to put up with disparaging remarks, sexual behavior, offensive jokes, or unwanted physical contact at work. If you are a man who has been sexually harassed at work, there are several steps you should immediately take. Keep all records of emails, text messages, memos, and other documents that are in any way discriminatory or harassing in nature. Keep a written log of all instances of sexual harassment including the date and time, who perpetuated the harassment, what you did in response, and any witnesses to the harassment. Next, contact a sexual harassment lawyer to learn more about your legal options moving forward.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Regardless of gender or sexuality, all workers deserve to feel safe and be free from harassment at work. If you have experienced sexual harassment and you want to learn more about your rights and the legal options, contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC. Schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Naperville sexual harassment attorney by calling us at 630-665-7300 today.