According to a year long study conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), more than half of women in the advertising industry have experienced discrimination or sexual harassment at one time or another. While sexual harassment at the office can be blatant with obscene jokes or sexual propositions, Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers note that it can take much subtler forms.
A third of respondents said they were denied promotions or opportunities because of their gender. Nearly forty percent of the women in the 4As study said that they were not included in critical meetings at work. This type of discrimination is difficult for human resources to address because it is not as overt as other forms of harassment.
Perhaps most revealing about the study was that 54 percent of the women interviewed reported that their gender left them feeling somewhat or very vulnerable at work. The women involved in the 4As study represent all positions and levels of experience, from interns to senior management.
How to Proceed in a Sexual Harassment Case
If gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment is still so pervasive in an industry like advertising, we can assume women in other professions encounter it as well. So what should the average working woman do when she is being sexually harassed or discriminated against at work?
Everyone should be familiar with their company policy regarding discrimination and harassment. A workplace policy might actually differ from the law, so it is important to know what your company considers to be harassment. Employees should also document in writing the behavior they feel is offensive and notify a manager or supervisor they trust. An investigation into the matter should follow.
Be prepared for a variety of outcomes. At the least, you may be prevented from working with the person who you have accused of wrongdoing. That person may also be warned or reprimanded. Your case may also be determined to be inconclusive. This means there may not have been enough evidence to make a determination of misconduct. If you are not satisfied with how your employer handled your concerns, you may then consider consulting an employment lawyer to review possible next steps.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocate for Employees
If you are considering filing a sexual harassment complaint with your employer, you may want to consult a skilled employment lawyer first. Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have more than thirty years’ experience advocating for workers’ rights. Call our Center City Philadelphia offices at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.