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Understanding male sexual harassment in the workplace

People in Michigan deserve to feel safe when at work. A hostile working environment can not only be extremely stressful on employees but can also be part of illegal activity if caused by sexual harassment. In today’s society, it is not only women who are common victims of sex discrimination and related actions. A growing number of men are finding themselves the victim of unwanted sexual advances, offensive sexual comments and more.

A legal report published by the Society for Human Resources Management notes important data and statistics that may surprise some people concerning male sexual harassment in the workplace. One example is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s reporting that more than 16 percent of complaints alleging sexual harassment from 2010 to 2013 were filed by male employees.

In trying to understand the shift to more claims of sexual harassment by men, one Forbes article puts forth the notion that it is reflective of women’s position in the workforce today. In past generations, there were not enough women in positions of management or power to result in the number of claims seen today.

However, it is also important to note that not all claims filed by men assert women as the harassers. Same-sex harassment is also noted in many complaints. This harassment can come in the form of lewd comments, requests for sexual favors, hazing and other actions unwelcome by victims. The SHRM report indicates that a 1998 ruling by the United States Supreme Court made legal claims of sexual harassment by victims against alleged perpetrators of the same gender.

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