Although sexual harassment claims have received recognition recently in the media and entertainment sectors, sexual misconduct occurs in all employment fields, especially when a power balance exists. Perhaps the most scandalous, however, is the fact that sexual harassment occurs on a state level, where government agencies do the best that they can to keep affairs quiet to save their reputation and maintain peace.
In a world where sexual harassment claims have recently been reported and spoken of openly, the fact that a branch of the government has been hiding its sexual misconduct allegations certainly takes away from the rights of victims involved. Thanks to Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, however, sexual harassment and the resulting silence will no longer be tolerated in Pennsylvania state agencies.
Where are Sexual Misconduct Cases Occurring?
The number of sexual harassment complaints within the past five years in Pennsylvania state agencies is alarming. Governor Tom Wolf has recently released numbers that back up this claim, reporting that state agencies under his jurisdiction have reported 339 cases of sexual harassment between 2012 and 2017 to the Office of Administration.
The biggest culprit of sexual harassment was the Department of Corrections, where 91 sexual misconduct complaints were recorded between 2012 and 2017. To make matters worse, all the complaints were directed toward employees of the department’s prisons and facilities, not inmates. Another surprising number was reported by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board between 2012 and 2017, where one complaint of sexual harassment a month was averaged. In most of these cases, customers and vendors harassed employees in the state’s liquor stores.
When compared to the allegations against the Department of Corrections and the Liquor Control Board, the number of claims in other state agencies are quite small but are still relevant. Over the five-year period, the Department of Human Services reported 58 complaints, state police reported 34 complaints, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs reported 19 complaints, the Department of Labor reported 15 complaints, and the smallest culprit, the Board of Probation and Parole, reported 10 complaints, although they have the smallest workforce with 1,250 employees.
Silence is Not the Answer
Although the state agencies involved insist that silence is merely a way of protecting a victim’s identity as the cases are confidential, silence is not the answer to sexual harassment. In fact, perpetrators of sexual harassment are more likely to continue abusing their power, as they know that they will be able to avoid confrontation through quiet legal settlements.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims’ Rights
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you are not alone. Silent claims are not the answer, and you are entitled to speak openly about the crimes inflicted against you. By speaking with an experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer, we will ensure that your case is heard. At Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are preserved. To receive guidance on your sexual misconduct claim, schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office by contacting us online or by calling 215-569-1999.