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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers Discuss Sexual Harassment by Corporate Executives

November 8th, 2016

In a recent article published in Fortune Magazine, analysts from Stanford University Business School and the University of Missouri discussed how the recent accusations of sexual harassment by Fox News reporter Gretchen Carlson exemplify the current corporate culture that allows and often perpetuates this type of discrimination. Carlson made headlines when she filed charges against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes who she claims had sexually harassed her. The story gained more attention as Ailes resigned from his position and more women came forward with claims of sexual harassment that spanned a period of ten years. The end result was a $20 million settlement payable to Carlson.

The investigation into the charges made by Carlson has revealed that sexual harassment at Fox News had not only gone on for a long period of time, but that it was a fact well known by many in the organization who allowed it to continue. Now, many people working within corporations are shedding light on how corporate executives who engage in this type of behavior create a domino effect that perpetuates the destructive climate.

Experts quoted in the Fortune Magazine article explain how continued sexual harassment in the workplace creates a hostile environment. When the harassment comes from the top executives in an organization, many lower level executives, managers, and supervisors look the other way for fear of retaliation from their superiors. When the higher level executives turn the other way, those underneath them follow suit, which then perpetuates the problem even further, making victims of the sexual harassment feel like they have no one to turn to for intervention. In the case at Fox News, Gretchen Carlson’s courage to take on the top CEO of the corporation allowed other victims to come forward, finally shedding light on a problem bigger than first suspected.

What Constitutes as Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can come in many forms. Inappropriate and unwelcome touching, gestures, or comments of a sexual nature are what most people think of when the term sexual harassment is used, but there are other actions that are equally offensive and illegal. Off-color or explicit jokes with sexual undertones; inappropriate references to someone’s physical appearance or body type; and consistent requests for intimate contact are also forms of sexual harassment. Claims are most commonly reported by women against men, but men can also be victims of sexual harassment. Individuals can also be sexually harassed by members of the same sex.

Sexual harassment in any form in the workplace is illegal. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer, manager, or supervisor to discriminate against an employee, or allow other employees to harass or intimidate coworkers. Sexual harassment falls under the protection of this federal law as a form of sexual discrimination. State laws in Pennsylvania provide added protection to those seeking resolution to sexual harassment at work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates claims made against employers and determines what type of actions or penalties are warranted.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If you or someone you know is being sexually harassed or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace, the experienced team of Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help you claim justice. Our firm has a long history of successful claims against employers accused of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Call us at 215-569-1999, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in the heart of Philadelphia and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

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