The trucking industry is currently facing multiple challenges. One of these is the lack of new drivers entering the profession at a time when large swaths of older drivers are retiring. Another is the looming auto-driving technology that will change the industry and put a significant financial strain on smaller companies. Yet another is the issue of sexual harassment among drivers and others employed in the industry, which is overwhelmingly male.
Sexual harassment in the trucking industry only exacerbates the problem of a quickly reducing pool of available workers because it drives potential female employees from the industry. It also creates a financial strain on employers who are required to compensate victims for their damages related to the harassment.
Difficulties Women Face in the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry primarily employs men. In many cases, this causes the women in the industry to feel pressured to “fit in” with its culture and be productive members of their teams. When a woman in this position experiences sexual harassment, it can be a struggle.
Gestures and comments that male drivers consider to be harmless jokes can register very differently to their female coworkers. When the intent behind such a comment or gesture is not clear, or if a woman has no proof that she faced sexual harassment, the victim can feel that they have no recourse for their experience. A victim can also feel like they will face retaliation for speaking out, which could be a poor performance review, worsened harassment, or termination.
Recognizing Subtle Forms of Sexual Harassment at Work
Workplace sexual harassment is not always obvious. Although there certainly are cases of supervisors requesting sexual favors from employees in exchange for favorable treatment and workplaces where employees make lewd, demeaning statements to and about each other outright, there are just as many instances of harassment that takes subtler forms, slowly diminishing victims’ self-esteem to the point of making the workplace unbearable.
Examples of these include:
- “Dirty” jokes that are sexual or homophobic in nature
- Referring to an individual by their physical characteristics, such as their cup size or figure shape. This can also include pet names like “sexy” or “sweetie”
- Assessing an individual’s physical attractiveness and comparing them to others
- Discussing sexual fantasies about an individual with them
Although many companies have sexual harassment policies in place, some are fairly vague or only include specific forms of sexual harassment. New employees should familiarize themselves with their company’s sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures, which could include a confidential hotline or a specific reporting form.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Sexual Harassment Victims Seek Justice
Sexual harassment can be harmful to individuals in any industry. If you have faced sexual harassment in your workplace, fill out our online form or call 215-569-1999 to schedule your initial legal consultation with a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we serve clients from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.