Many of our Milwaukee readers will recall that two years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that about 10,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed in 2017. The overwhelming majority (83 percent) were filed by women. While the #MeToo movement has helped more female victims of workplace harassment speak out and take legal action to stop the behavior, far too often the sexual harassment of men is dismissed or derided in our culture.
We read recently of a man who argues in his sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit that his rights were violated and his career damaged by a female former employer.
The 28-year-old data analyst says in his lawsuit that he began working for the woman's defense consulting firm back in 2014 and that her sexual advances began soon afterwards. He says that because he feared for his job, he gave in to her advances. He said that the sexual harassment and sexual relationship continued until he was fired on Valentine's Day last year.
He states in his lawsuit that he was fired that day because his employer found out that he was in a romantic relationship with another person.
The female employer, 39, denies his claims and has asked the court to dismiss his lawsuit. "In fact, (the plaintiff) was pursuing her," her response to his suit states.
A news report from late last year stated that the man claims that he tried to end the relationship with the owner "many times," but she "would become hostile and aggravated" and "withhold work from him."
He also says that he was married while having the relationship with his boss and that when his wife found out, she filed for divorce. He was later hospitalized for treatment of depression and anxiety. Though he returned to work after the treatment, he soon resigned because of stress.
Several months later, financial problems forced him to return to the company, he said in his lawsuit. The sexual harassment via calls and texts resumed immediately.
Those who have been subjected to sexual coercion or quid pro quo sexual harassment can speak with an attorney experienced in employment law litigation about what their next steps should be.