This is sexual harassment. And I don’t have to take it.
Remember that public service announcement from back in the day? We were too young to really understand it then, but as we enter the workplace, the issue is becoming real for our generation.
Besides a quick policy reminder, this serious issue is not commonly addressed in either the college or work environment, so it becomes more difficult for young people to confront it, but it’s happening in the workplace all the time, especially to college students.
[man] Kristin, an economics senior who would like her last name kept anonymous, was sexually harassed by a co-worker when she worked as a waitress at the age of 16. She was walking into the storage closet when he approached her and started kissing her neck. She couldn’t stop him.
“I reported him to my workplace, but he wasn’t fired,” Kristin said. She continued to explain how the harassment didn’t stop right away, even after the first incident was reported. “I have experienced sexual harassment at about every workplace. I don’t think I would ever report anything unless it was drastic, because it is too big a hassle to deal with.”
Although it is more common for females to be threatened at work, it is not unheard of for men to feel threatened by a manager or supervisor. Brian Quinn, 22, who models for a local agency, was sexually harassed at a summer job two years ago working as a bartender in a bowling alley. One of his managers said he would get better tips if he let older women grab his butt. “I was afraid to tell people about this for a long time because it was so weird,” Quinn said. “I wasn’t a stripper, I was a bartender.” He also mentioned one of the managers wondering aloud about what Quinn looked like naked and whether he was good in bed.
Although Quinn labeled the behaviors as sexual harassment, the managers’ attitudes remained unchanged and their advances continued. “I refused to work ladies’ night because that was when most of the assaulting went down, so they took me off the schedule for not conforming to their rules,” he said.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the victim can be a man or woman, the harasser can be anyone including a supervisor, co-workers or even non-employees.
[woman] Jenna, a business sophomore, was also sexually harassed in the restaurant and retail industry. She said she became uncomfortable around her manager after his teasing grew offensive. “When my manager began joking with me, I kind of joked back, but some of his jokes disgusted me, and when he looked at me, I felt like he was undressing me with his eyes,” she said. The manager had been hit with sexual harassment suits in the past, but Jenna said she was too naïve to take action.
If you have been sexually harassed, you can consult with a lawyer to determine the severity of the matter. There are various methods to approaching different types of harassment cases. If a person is a minor, family protective services will step in. For those convicted, a sexual harassment report stays on their record forever.
If you’ve ever been sexually harassed, or don’t know if an incident occurred that could be considered sexual harassment, you should tell someone immediately. Talk to co-workers to find out if the offender is doing it to others or whether yours is an isolated incident. Find someone who you’re comfortable sharing the details of the situation. Record all the events as they occur, because behavior patterns among offenders are vital if a case reaches the court system. Of course, be firm, think positively and remain calm. It might sound cheesy, but you truly don’t have to take it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *