California residents may be aware of the resignation of Roger Ailes from his position as CEO of the Fox News Channel. After running it for two decades, Ailes stepped down amid allegations that he sexually harassed female employees for years. A few days later, a guest on a CNN show expressed surprise that Ailes’ accusers took so long to talk about the sexual harassment that they had experienced.
Like victims of sexual assault, many victims of sexual harassment are reluctant to report what has happened to them. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are both crimes that involve abuses of power, and victims usually do not complain about a person who they feel holds power over them. When a workplace has allowed sexual harassment to continue, victims may feel that the behavior is condoned, and they will have no support if they make a complaint.
Sexual harassment victims may not speak up because they believe that no good will come from it. They may fear that they will be subjected to more harassment or they will lose their job. Embarrassment is another concern for sexual harassment victims who fear that they will not be believed. Because the perpetrator of sexual harassment is often in a position of power at a workplace, the victim may think that others will be inclined to take the perpetrator’s side.
When victims file sexual harassment claims and then lose their job or get demoted, they may pursue compensation for their damages. It is unlawful to discriminate against a person for making an official complaint, even if an investigation does not find evidence of wrongdoing. Those who are in this position may want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking appropriate recourse.