Anyone in the workplace, either employer or employee, would find it difficult to suggest they are not aware of sexual harassment. Many resources for training and education have been expended in this area. Yet the problem still exists. Whether it's unwelcome sexual advances or creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive work atmosphere, sexual harassment is all too common throughout Tennessee and the rest of the U.S.
In Tennessee and throughout the country, much has been made about sexual harassment in the workplace and in society in general. Recently, Facebook has announced that it will no longer require workers to enter into arbitration in sexual harassment cases. The policy was criticized as a means of keeping victims quiet and preventing the public from knowing the true extent of the problem. The company also made changes to its relationship disclosure policy.
The health care industry possesses many traits that contribute to its high rate of sexual harassment among doctors and medical students. Medical schools and hospitals in Tennessee and around the country operate under hierarchical structures and tend to have male-dominated leaderships. Researchers have identified these characteristics as a breeding ground for sexual harassment. Surveys of female doctors show that as many as 70 percent of them have experienced harassment on the job. Sometimes half of female medical students have been sexually harassed before graduating.
A survey of 1,000 working adults conducted by a public relations company identified disparate views between executives and rank-and-file employees on the subject of sexual harassment. According to the research, companies in Tennessee likely have little awareness at the management level of sexual harassment. The survey indicated that almost 70 percent of business leaders "strongly agreed" that their organizations did not tolerate sexual harassment, but only a minority of workers agreed with that belief.
A former Google employee who was fired after complaining of sexual harassment has filed a lawsuit against the corporate giant. He is seeking $400,000 in damages. He said Google's human resources department told him they thought his claims were not valid because the man he accused of sexual harassment was not gay. After the company finalized its investigation into his claims, the man was fired. Tennessee residents who have experienced sexual harassment at work may be entitled to monetary damages.
Some people in Tennessee might be aware that the broadcasting industry has recently been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. However, media companies have been implicated in similar behavior in the past. A decade ago, Gawker and The New York Times reported on sexual harassment at Tribune Broadcasting. The company rewrote the employee handbook to excuse certain types of talk and jokes as not being harassment.
A survey from Hiscox aimed to find out more about how sexual harassment was viewed and dealt with by employees and companies alike. It found that more than 35 percent of respondents had been impacted by sexual harassment in some form. However, many cases in Tennessee and around the country were not reported. The most common reason for not reporting sexual harassment was a sense that doing so would result in a hostile workplace.
Roughly 25 percent of nurses and related professionals have experienced or seen instances of sexual harassment in the last three years. That was according to a 2018 report from Medscape. A survey of over 6,200 clinicians listed several acts that qualified as sexual harassment, including comments about a person's body or being asked out on a date repeatedly.
Women throughout Tennessee and across the country have spoken out about sexual harassment on the job. Workplace harassment can happen in all kinds of job settings, from warehouses to factories to corporate plazas. In one such example, a survey of 2,000 members of the Writers Guild of America West found that 64 percent of female writers reported experiencing harassment in the workplace at some point during their careers. In addition, they noted that a large portion of these experiences took place inside the writers' room.
Residents of Tennessee might associate the Federal Emergency Management Agency with disaster areas, but new allegations point to a disastrous work environment. Complaints against a former FEMA personnel officer who occupied a high position within the human resources department reveal a workplace where he doled out jobs to women who granted him sexual favors.