In 2018, news that Under Armour was finally ending a longtime practice of reimbursing strip club expenses was met with disbelief and outrage that a major American company had allowed this practice until now. The Wall Street Journal reported that the giant athletic apparel company circulated an email notifying employees of an end to strip club expense reimbursement. The fact that the company had permitted this practice until now raised eyebrows when reported across the corporate world and in the media.
Under Armour staff and management took athletes and clients to strip clubs as part of recruiting them as company sponsors for their apparel. The article reported that instances of inappropriate behavior with female subordinates took place. Because this took place in a work environment, sexual harassment laws apply.
Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is a type of illegal employment discrimination under the Federal Civil Rights Act. Among workplace harassment, employees are pressured to tolerate unwanted sexual advances that are tied to employment benefits, such as raises or promotions. It also includes behavior that creates a hostile work environment.
Bringing these instances to light is among one of the challenges of addressing inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Victims alleged that the company culture tolerated or promoted an environment where sexual jokes, harassment, inappropriate contact, and abuse occurred regularly.
Under Armour has grown from its beginnings in Baltimore to a worldwide billion-dollar company selling athletic apparel and footwear with major contracts with numerous U.S. athletes and sports leagues. The company’s founder and CEO issued a statement upon the article’s publication stating that the company will do better. However, the question remains how employees faced with a sexual harassment issue in the workplace can safeguard their rights.
Sexual harassment and a hostile work environment occur far beyond one company. Employees who experience this employment discrimination have options. Most but not all employees are covered under sexual harassment laws and can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employees depending on their residence may also be covered under state and municipal sexual harassment laws. In addition, victims can file suit against the company. However, filing an employment discrimination claim is subject to strict deadlines and documentation. The complexities of employment law are a reason to consider hiring an experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer to ensure victims receive the justice they deserve.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Those Suffering Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you or a loved one has been the victim of illegal sexual harassment in the workplace, the Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can advise you on your rights. Located in Philadelphia, we represent victims of sexual harassment in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County. Please contact us for a free consultation via our online form or call us at 215-569-1999.