Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
When you think of Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, or Lorena Bobbit what comes to mind? If you are like many people, sexual harassment probably popped in your head. Due to these famous cases, the number of sexual harassment complaints that the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Committee) has increased by more than 50%! Sexual harassment is a big issue nowadays in every business; if left unattended it could cost companies thousands, if not millions, of dollars in damages.
In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From 1978 to 1980, sexual harassment cases brought against companies cost them $189 million. This number rose to $267 million from 1985-1987. Although this number jumped significantly, the rate of sexual harassment had not. Damages are just not numbers. Sexual harassment can cause harm to a company's image, reputation, customers, as well as their revenue.
So why did Anita Hill not come forward with her claim of sexual harassment earlier? Well, in earlier years, women use to think in order to get along in the workplace they must "go with the flow" of whatever may happen in the office. Co-workers often looked negatively upon people who stuck up for themselves. Men's behaviors at work had always been accepted without any questions. When women were sexually harassed they had no where to turn to either. Today, the EEOC receives more than 16,000 sexual harassment complaints in a year. This is hardly the amount of situations that happen. 95% of sexual harassment incidents are left unreported!
We cannot follow in our government's footsteps down this road. Our so-called Congress is the worse place to work in dealing with sexual harassment. Until 1994, they were not under compliance...