On March 1, two former male employees of the Hooters restaurant chain filed a lawsuit against the company for sexually harassment by their male boss. The two men claim the harassment went on for years, and occurred at Hooters locations in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Hollywood.
As a society, we’ve been conditioned to think of sexual harassment as a burden faced by women only. But that’s not an accurate theory. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported a 17.6 percent increase in 2013 of the number of sexual harassment charges filed by men.
According to a report in Psychology Today, little data exists about the emotional consequences faced by men who have been sexually harassed in the work place. While many women who have been harassed often remain silent for fear of losing their jobs, men are seemingly expected to brush it off and get on with life.
In the case of the two men who just brought charges against Hooters, they claim that their male boss engaged in a host of instances of harassment, including even pushing one of the men to a parking lot ground and simulating sodomy.
Women can also be guilty of harassment. A man interviewed by NBC News said he worked in an office environment made up primarily of women. He said that the women would share jokes and emails about men, and even went on to make fun of the male anatomy. When he addressed the matter with women, he claims that they brushed it off as harmless fun.
The NBC report goes on to cite the claims of another male victim of sexual harassment. The EEOC actually filed that particular lawsuit against a real estate company in Mississippi on behalf of the male victim. The man worked on the maintenance staff of an apartment complex, and endured a number of sexual advances from his female manager.
Sexual harassment is a crime. It is not contained by gender, age or race. Rather, it is fundamentally about power. As a society, we should use every form of leverage (e.g. litigation and others) to not only stop it but to also hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.
If you feel that you’ve experienced sexual harassment, we urge you to contact the Gilleon Law Firm offices in San Diego at (619) 702-8623.