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.
Women throughout the country are starting to have their voices heard when it comes to harassment. However, it's important to remember that a Tennessee workplace isn't necessarily free of abuse just because complaints aren't made. A national study found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced sexual assault or other forms of harassment at some point. Many victims still don't report abuse due to fear of retaliation.
The National Park Service manages 84 million acres in the United States, including locations in Tennessee. The service functions within the Department of the Interior, led by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has publicly pledged to take strong action against sexual harassers within federal workplaces under his control. A man currently holding the highest position at the NPS due to no one being nominated to lead the agency has fallen under investigation after an anonymous complaint about his behavior.
One challenge that employees of Tennessee companies who are victims of sexual harassment at work may face is that in many cases, the behavior does not reach a legal standard that permits action to be taken. Reports of harassment at Nike that have caused several executives to resign or announce their resignation is one example. They include going to strip clubs at staff outings, email comments about a woman's breasts and a number of reports of being overlooked for promotion.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and similar state groups reported more than 9,600 workplace sexual harassment complaints. However, that number is 41 percent lower than the more than 16,000 sexual harassment complaints in 1997. While that may sound like a good thing, workers in Tennessee have not likely experienced a 41 percent drop in harassment. Instead, the complaint process is largely being handled behind closed doors.