A Growing Trend in the Workplace: Reverse Sexual Harassment
With more and more women in the workplace and in positions of supervision reverse sexual harassment has become one of the fastest growing human resource issues today. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2008) there is over 37 women CEOs in the Fortune 1000 companies and women makeup a little more then 55 percent of the work force. The removal of the glass ceiling has not come without some problems. From 2000 to 2004 reverse sexual harassment charges rose 34 percent. In the one year’s time 2004 to 2005 reverse sexual harassment charges rose 17 percent, doubling the previous four years. With ...view middle of the document...
The final straw was a letter sent by his boss to Singleton’s girlfriend and mother of his child detailing a sexual affair between the boss and him which never occurred. Singleton won the trial, was awarded $1 million by a jury for pain and suffering, and legal fees. The trial court reduced that amount to $300,000. In typical fashion the City of New York appealed the decision of $300,000 and the Court of Appeals upheld the award of $300,000.
In an unspecified case in New Jersey a state prison guard filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of reverse sexual discrimination (New York Times, 1999). The charges stem from the harassment he received from three female co-workers, also guards, when he refused to have sex with one of them. The suit was filed in Superior court against the state of New Jersey and the State Corrections Commissioner. The plaintiff contends that he was taunted, belittled, and had his sexuality questioned by the three females for over two years. The victim who is married and has two children is seeking damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, and legal fees. The guard claims he was ignored by superiors who did nothing and some even started to belittle him after reporting the harassment. The case was settled out of court with an undisclosed monetary settlement to the plaintiff.
The Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibits workers and supervisors from sexually harassing people of the same sex (Greenburg, 1998). The unanimous decision made clear that the focus be on the action not the sex of the harasser. The courts opinion written by Justice Scalia states that there was nothing in the law that bars claims of harassment “because the plaintiff and the defendant are of the same sex”. The ruling was a victory for a male...