Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Yahoo! HotJobs is reporting that cases of sexual harassment brought by men are increasing:
Defying assumptions about sexual harassment in the workplace, a record percentage of men reported being harassed by male colleagues last year, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Cases filed by men made up 15.4 percent of the 12,025 sexual harassment charges in fiscal year 2006, compared to 14.3 percent in 2005 and 11.6 percent a decade ago, according to the EEOC.
But these men are generally not being harassed by women:
Although the statistics don't reveal whether the alleged harassers of men also are male, they typically are -- it's rare for a man to file charges against a female coworker or supervisor, says EEOC spokesman David Grinberg.
It seems that much of this increase in male-on-male sexual harassment cases can be traced to not only the Supreme Court's watershed same-sex harassment decision in Oncale in 1998, but to the fact that more courts are willing to protect harassed men under some form of stereotype sexual discrimination of the Price Waterhouse variety. In cases like Nichols v. Azteca Restaurant, 256 F.3d 864 (9th Cir. 2001), the courts have extended the protections of Title VII to those who are harassed because they do not live up to the gender stereotypes of what it is to be male.
There also might be something else going on here, at least at the federal level. Because Title VII does not include sexual orientation as one of the protected classifications, courts are becoming increasingly creative, as in Rene v. MGM Grand Hotel, 305 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (en banc), in extending employment discrimination protections to homosexual employees under different theories of law.
Hat Tip: Miriam Cherry