As sexual harassment and misconduct claims continue to mount against prominent public figures, women in workplaces across the United States are saying out loud, “I don’t have to be silent anymore. I don’t have to be afraid anymore.”
Speaking out about sexual harassment takes courage, and more and more employees are feeling emboldened to assert their civil rights and hold wrongdoers accountable.
The list of offenders keeps growing.
Even a cursory scan of recent news offers a list of wealthy and powerful individuals who have been publicly called out for alleged sexual misconduct or harassment.
- Multiple women came forward to say that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted or harassed them. Weinstein was subsequently fired by his own company, and his behavior is currently the subject of a criminal investigation in New York.
- Multiple women have said that U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama judge Roy Moore pursued them or engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with them when the women were teenagers.
- Seven women have said that President George H.W. Bush groped them during photo shoots.
- Numerous men have accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment or assault, and he was consequently fired from the popular show “House of Cards.”
- Comedian Louis C.K.’s latest movie was dropped from theaters after multiple women spoke out about the actor’s pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior.
- U.S. Congressman John Conyers announced his retirement amid multiple sexual assault and harassment allegations.
- U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold relied on $84,000 of taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.
- At least six women have accused U.S. Senator Al Franken of sexual misconduct or harassment.
- T.V. journalist Matt Lauer was fired from NBC after investigations revealed that he had sexually harassed multiple co-workers.
Even when the offender walks in the highest halls of power, victims of sexual harassment should feel emboldened to take legal action.
State and federal laws prohibit workplace sexual harassment. If you have been victimized by a coworker, supervisor or anyone in your workplace, talk to an employment law attorney about your rights and options. Like others who have spoken out, you do not have to go through this alone.