Almost everyone has had to watch a training video at work about what sexual harassment is, but many incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace go unreported. That’s particularly true when the victims are men. Men in Texas should be aware of their rights when it comes to protection from sexual harassment in the workplace.
How it happens
Just like women, men can be sexually harassed in the workplace. Sometimes, they are harassed by women, but other times, other men are the culprits. Sexual harassment is especially problematic when a power dynamic is involved, for example, with a boss against a subordinate.
Men often don’t report these incidents. This is true for a number of reasons. Men are generally socialized to believe that sexual attention is good. When men are asked about being harassed in the workplace, they might respond with a joke like “I wish!” or “Only in my dreams!” However, when these situations do happen, it can cause discomfort and self-doubt for the men involved.
What to do
If a man is sexually harassed at work, he might first try to deal with the situation in the moment. This could mean saying something to the person who made him uncomfortable. He might say, “I don’t think that’s the way to address a colleague.” However, even if he doesn’t react in the moment, he doesn’t need to keep his discomfort to himself.
Men who’ve been harassed should know that it’s a good idea to keep a record of the dates, times and names of witnesses if they’re being harassed at work. This can be helpful in building a case for employment discrimination. It’s also crucial to contact a lawyer. HR departments sometimes care more about avoiding lawsuits than helping workers, so an employee may want their own legal advocate.