No one deserves to be sexually harassed in their workplace, regardless of their personal characteristics. However, studies have shown that the victims of sexual harassment are disproportionately people of color, females, and sexual minorities. If you are one of these minorities, you may feel doubly victimized by sexual harassment, because many options to seek redress seem much more favorable to the majority. Learn more about filing a sexual harassment charge as a minority.
Statistics Show Higher Rates
Statistics across several studies show routinely that black women face the highest amounts of intersectional harassment in the workplace. Intersectional harassment is harassment based on more than one characteristic, so in this case, it would be race and gender.
In addition, a survey from Harvard’s School of Public Health revealed that 51 percent of LGBTQ+ people have also been sexually harassed in the workplace. Sexual harassment is about power, not sex. Unfortunately, people of color and those of gender or sexual minorities tend to have less institutional power in most workplaces.
Myths About Sexual Harassment
It’s important to keep in mind that there are quite a few myths about sexual harassment charges that anyone, of any race or gender, may still believe. For example, the victim and alleged harasser do not have to be of any certain gender or sexual orientation for a charge of sexual harassment to have merit. In the past, a charge might be dismissed if the harasser and the victim were of the same gender. Another common myth is that the perpetrator of harassment does not have to be your superior. In fact, it can be anyone.
You Have The Right To Seek Compensation
You have the right to a workplace free from mistreatment, intimidation, and shame. However, it would be inaccurate to state that the process of seeking redress is not extra intimidating to minority victims. This is often due to outdated and offensive ideas of workplace culture.
For example, black men are often not believed when they allege harassment, especially if it was perpetrated by a white woman. White women are still too often perceived as “fragile” or incapable of such behavior, while black men are unfairly generalized as being more sensual and less-inclined to turn down offers of that type of behavior.
Regardless of these factors, if you believe that you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you have the right to report the behavior and seek compensation for what you have been through. In South Carolina, an injured employee can file with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (HAC) or with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), depending on the time frame in which you need to file your case. Note that the statute of limitations is generally longer if one files with the HAC. Do not be afraid to file—you have the right to speak out.
Contact A South Carolina Employment Discrimination Attorney
It’s important to know your options when it comes to filing a sexual harassment charge as a minority. Sexual harassment is an experience that no one should have to go through, but if you have been a victim, you have the legal right to seek compensation for the injuries you have experienced. Attorney A. Christopher Potts has experience in these types of cases, and his firm of Hitchcock & Potts can help you with yours. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.