Nearly every day it seems like another public figure is accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. When does a comment or a gesture constitute sexual harassment? For some, the lines are not clear. That is why News 13 is holding a Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall "Crossing the Line: Workplace Sexual Harassment."
The panelists for the Town Hall are:
- Angelica Reza Wind - Executive Director, Our VOICE
- Robert “Bo” Carpenter - Attorney, Dungan Law Firm
- Marie-Line Germain, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Human Resources and Leadership, Western Carolina University
- Patricia Fuller - Director, EEOC Greenville Office
The panel will discuss what constitutes as sexual harassment, how to recognize it, strategies for employers and employees, prevention, and resources for victims.
In October 2017, a storm hit social media. The #MeToo movement began in the wake of the allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. Since then, more than 1.7 million women and men have used the hashtag in 85 countries, according to Twitter. Many shared their stories of how they were sexually assaulted. The #MeToo movement was even Time magazine's Person of The Year: "The Silence Breakers."
That storm has now snowballed. Dozens of actors, journalists, politicians and other public figures now face sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations. Some face criminal charges. Others were fired or resigned from their positions.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates between 25 percent to 85 percent of women report being sexually harassed in the workplace. In a recent report, the EEOC found that the numbers are on the higher end when women were given more specific definitions for harassment.
The study by the EEOC also found another disheartening fact. Regardless of the type of harassment in the workplace, the study found "the least common response of either men or women to harassment is to take some formal action." The EEOC mentioned one study that found gender-harassing conduct was almost never reported.