Respect the Workplace: Worst Sexual Harassment Cases
The Harvey Weinstein saga, and its ripple effects which led to the viral Me Too movement, have brought sexual harassment into the spotlight as never before in history. More than a hundred  men have been accused of sexual misconduct and assault in the 5 months since allegations against Weinstein first surfaced on October 5th, 2017. Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, David Blaine, Bill O'Reilly, Dustin Hoffman, Louis C.K., and Andrew Kreisberg are just a few of the high profile names on the list of men accused recently. The #metoo campaign has empowered victims, allowing them to come forward and share their stories of abuse by people in power with the world. Whether these allegations prove true or false, they have caused a seismic shift in the types of behavior now tolerated in the workplace. Some of the most prominent sexual harassment cases which have contributed to this new environment, even if they happened before the Weinstein fallout, include:
Gretchen Carlson vs. Roger Ailes Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back was published in late September, 2017. Its author, Gretchen Carlson, was herself a victim of "severe and pervasive sexual harassment" at work. Carlson is a former broadcaster at the Fox News Channel, and was tormented and harassed in her position by then CEO Roger Ailes. She was denied a contract renewal after she "refused to sleep" with him. She filed a lawsuit against Ailes, and won a $20 million settlement from the channel's parent company. Fox also apologized to her, and praised her work and professionalism.
Ani Chopourian vs. Catholic Healthcare West In perhaps the largest judgment for an individual sexual harassment victim, Chopourian was awarded $168 million by a federal jury in California. Chopourian had filed multiple complaints during a two-year tenure at the Mercy General Hospital before resorting to legal recourse. She alleged that one particular surgeon would harass her every morning with crass remarks and physical contact, including slaps to her bottom.
Lis Wiehl vs. Bill O'Reilly A former Fox News legal analyst, Lis Wiehl made regular appearances on O'Reilly's 'The O'Reilly Factor' show for fifteen  years. In January 2017, Wiehl and O'Reilly agreed to a $32 million settlement. The allegations against O'Reilly included repeated harassment and a nonconsensual sexual relationship. He is also alleged to have sent her sexually explicit material, including gay pornography. 21st Century Fox acknowledged they had been aware of Wiehl's complaints before the deal became public, and still decided to grant O'Reilly a four year contract extension at $25 million a year in February.
Ashley Alford vs. Aaron's Rents An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case verdict awarded $95 million in a federal court to Ashley Alford. The attorneys eventually agreed to a $6 million total sum in an out-of-court settlement. Alford brought allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Richard Moore, a manager at Aaron's Rents where she had been an employee. She claimed the company had ignored multiple complaints against him before Moore attacked her. She alleged he had masturbated, ejaculating on her after having yanked up her shirt.
Mitigate the Risk of Sexual Harassment at the WorkplaceThe cases listed above are but drops in the massive, unfortunate ocean that is sexual harassment at the workplace. It has become crucial for both employers and employees to undergo Anti-Sexual Harassment training. 360Training.com offers an online Anti-Sexual Harassment Course. It helps prevents cases of sexual misconduct at the workplace by defining common stereotypes and debunking popular misconceptions. People who study this course will be able to:
- Define sexual harassment
- Understand the problems with certain perceptions
- Identify, and deal with, potentially hostile work environments
- Deal with persistent harassing behavior
- Diffuse issues and conflicts at the workplace
- Properly report cases of harassment
- Anti-Harassment Policies and Procedures
- Implementation of the Program
- Investigation of Harassment Claims
- How to Handle a Complaint
- Types of Discrimination at a Workplace
- How to Avoid Discrimination