There are certain topics and behaviors that are not appropriate in the workplace, and comments about sex, unwanted physical contact and other sexual conduct are generally understood to be on that list. When discussing sexual harassment, people may immediately imagine the scene as a male supervisor requesting sexual favors from a female in exchange for advancement. However, as RoleReboot.org points out, women are not the only ones who are susceptible to sexual harassment.
Statistically and historically, litigation over sexual misconduct in the workplace is more likely to be filed by women. This is changing, though, as the number of men who have made formal complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is growing.
Men who report being sexually harassed have not necessarily been propositioned by female supervisors, as a person of any gender or sexual orientation could be guilty of this form of discrimination. According to the EEOC, a male employee may also have been subject to lewd suggestions or inappropriate comments from a co-worker, a vendor or even a customer. The person claiming harassment may overhear a conversation or remark made to someone else and feel intimidated or offended.
Anyone who has been the victim of sexual harassment, male or female, should have the ability to file a complaint or grievance with the company. To protect workers, employers should have a system in place to deal with this type of discrimination, and all reports should be treated seriously. Education and awareness are also effective tools for creating a positive and non-discriminatory workplace.