The ease of online conversations could be increasing media attention on sexual harassment. Employees in Tennessee and elsewhere have experienced this mistreatment for decades, but they often had to deal with the issue in isolation. One workplace consultant said that the internet has connected victims and allowed them to draw attention to the problem.
Online connectivity has allowed women from multiple generations to describe their experiences. With so many people breaking their silence, the problem of sexual harassment has been revealed to a greater extent than ever before.
The problem is not limited to older men in positions of power harassing female employees. A survey conducted by Fairygodboss, a site for posting reviews about women’s jobs, produced results that indicated that people identified their peers as the harassers 57 percent of the time. People described bosses as harassers 36 percent of the time. Men younger than 40 years of age represented the majority of offenders.
An executive consultant believed that the rise in complaints has resulted from a younger generation that rejects a hierarchical structure in the workplace. A human resources consultant added that people have less loyalty to an employer than in previous generations. They will leave if they feel mistreated instead of tolerating harassment.
Federal laws protect the victims of workplace sexual harassment, but many employees who are the target of unwanted sexual advances that lead to a hostile working environment too often keep silent due to fears of retaliation. People who find themselves in this position might want to meet with an employment law attorney to see what recourse might be available to them.