Recent events have made it plainer than ever that the reality of American society differs greatly from its ideals when it comes to sexual harassment and gender equality. A parade of politicians, media members, celebrities and athletes confronted with credible allegations of inappropriate and even criminal misconduct provide living proof of the abuse faced every day by women and girls in workplaces, schools, and even the halls of Congress, whose Office of Compliance has been reported to have paid over $15 million in virtually secret settlements of workplace claims, many of which undoubtedly involved sexual harassment.
As widespread as the problem is, it is not surprising that legal remedies have been developed in multiple contexts. The Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination based on gender; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids sex discrimination in the workplace and Title IX of the Education Amendments bans it in academic and athletic programs in schools. A wide array of state laws supplement or go beyond the federal protections. It should also be noted that, like their federal counterparts, they also protect males from discrimination and false accusations of sexual misconduct. These laws and their enforcement mechanisms – especially the lawsuits for damages that they authorize – are intended to promote the free and open reporting of sexual abuse, and to eliminate retaliation against the victims.
But as we have seen, victims still live in fear that complaining will fall on deaf ears, or worse, jeopardize their careers or ruin their reputations.
An attorney experienced in civil rights litigation can help you stand up to sexual abuse and harassment. If you believe you have been a victim, you can consult with a member of Williams Cedar’s legal team. To speak with one of our civil rights lawyers or make an inquiry about your potential case, call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online.