Besides shedding an unpleasant light on the ugly scope of the sexual harassment problem in the workplace, the latest wave of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations in both small and large U.S. companies have fostered change in the workplace.
In what has become a revolutionary article that encouraged millions of Americans to expose just how dire the problem of sexual misconduct is, the New York Times published a headline-making article in early October, making public sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein made by dozens of women.
It’s been a little more than two months since the article was published, and the mounting wave of sex scandals across the U.S. still shows no signs of going away. Many influential men across industries have been brought down by disgusting and disturbing revelations by women, who joined their hands in the #MeToo movement.
But how big of an effect has the public repudiation of producers, filmmakers, actors, comedians, CEOs and other alleged predators, gropers and harassers had on the workplace in the U.S. overall?
This is the question we asked sexual harassment attorneys at the Kaufman Law Firm, which respects sexual harassment victims’ right to confidentiality. Our attorneys’ phones in Los Angeles-based offices have been ringing off the hook since October, so how have the sex scandals reshaped the America’s workplace culture?
For the most part, sexual harassment has been largely “normalized” and ignored for many decades in the U.S. workplaces. Despite sexual harassment training upon hiring and anti-sexual misconduct posters put up on the walls of most U.S. offices, studies show that at up to 85% of all women in the U.S. have encountered some type of sexual harassment at work.
Fact: 75% of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation after coming forward to file their complaint. Not to mention that more than half of all harassment complaints reported by employees go unnoticed.
Bolstered by the ongoing wave of sex scandals in the U.S., much more pressure is being put on human resources (HR) departments nowadays. Turning a blind eye to a harassment claim poses a series of risks for the HR department and the company’s seniors, our sexual harassment attorney at Kaufman Law Firm explains.
If before Weinstein most HR departments were trying to keep such complaints under wraps or ignore them altogether, the heightened attention to sexual harassment complaints have prompted many HR departments to jump on such claims right away.
Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys also warn that the current momentum of the nation-wide disclosure of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior in the workplace could cost companies that try to protect alleged harassers and gropers a fortune.
The risk of having to pay out millions of dollars in public penalties in sexual misconduct claims have put most U.S. businesses on high alert. Hollywood’s sex scandals have had a profound effect on the U.S. workplace culture, which means it’s easier than ever to obtain compensation for being harassed at work.
Under federal and state laws in California, businesses in Los Angeles are required to address and investigate sexual harassment complaints, provide victims with financial compensation and punish offenders (which in most cases amounts to termination), our sexual harassment attorneys explain.
Our attorneys at Kaufman Law Firm also remind Los Angeles employees that companies are required to take claims of past sexual harassment or misconduct even from former employees.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, consult our attorneys immediately to find out your best course of action. It’s never recommended to go through something like this alone.
Call our Los Angeles offices at (818)-305-6457 to get a free initial consultation.