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The article by Lisa Rabasca details sexual harassment that employees progress to file numerous complaints against their employers despite new policies and laws enacted against the issue. The article explains that the employees allege that the new policies and laws failed to ensure their protection against sexual harassment in the workplace. Rabasca (2021) analyzes how Andrew Cuomo, earlier New York Governor, has been accused by 11 women concerning unwanted intimate comments, kissing, or groping. It is the most high-profile case involving sexual harassment. Also, the article highlights that surveys have indicated that sexual harassment has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, even with the alteration to remote work. Thus, the article’s policy goal is that sexual harassment is still high despite new legislation. Therefore, Rabasca (2021) provides two significant policies. The first involves states progressing to tackle whether to forbid nondisclosure agreements used by employers concerning sexual harassment claims. The second policy involves Congress taking into consideration legislation to ensure special prosecutors that are outside the military command chain to handle sexual harassment and assault allegations.
According to Rabasca (2021), sexual harassment legal definition includes all unwanted physical or verbal attention involving sexual nature in a learning environment or workplace. It also includes offensive remarks concerning an individual’s gender. For instance, it is assumed illegal to harass any woman by uttering offensive comments concerning women at large. In addition, harassment is illegal inconsiderate of the target or harasser’s gender. Surprisingly, despite a 165-page report released by Letitia James, the state Attorney General claiming the governor had been involved in sexually harassing 11 women, he denied the wrongdoing. He claimed that he had never attempted to cross the line with anybody in his mind and announced that he was leaving his position as governor. Despite Cuomo being involved in such a high-profile case, he had advocated the anti-harassment law of New York that was enacted in 2019; this executed new regulations modeled to ensure easier punishing workplace harassers.
The new policy expanded anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws to reduce the proof burden required for an individual to provide a harassment charge. It also included all employers and withdrew the requirement that any employee utilizes the internal complaint procedure of their company. In addition, the law prevented employers from demanding workers to ensure signing nondisclosure agreements, especially as a settlement agreement part or an employment condition. Thus, this has been significant in solving sexual harassment and will continue to ensure mitigating the issue in the future.
Nevertheless, Rabasca (2021) analyzes that many sexual harassment cases contain workers who make minimum wage. These employees frequently end up incurring a high price after reporting harassment due to employer-sponsored benefits loss like health insurance, missed advancement opportunities, lower earnings, and job loss. For example, fast-food workers who get forced out of their job due to reporting sexual harassment to have lifetime costs exceeding $125,600 (Rabasca, 2021). Thus, employees might become more withdrawn from reporting sexual harassment due to fear of retaliation, isolation feeling, or unsure concerning reporting remotely, especially for those in the virtual context.
The U.S. federal government has established several policy inducements to deal with the sexual harassment problem. For example, the establishment of EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), which is involved in investigating all kinds of employment discrimination, including sexual harassment. In 2020, the EEOC got 1,000 fewer harassment allegations than in 2019, which is an indication of an effective solution to sexual harassment. EEOC typically resolves sexual harassment charges between the employee and employer prior to considering litigation; this is essential to workers by helping them acquire justice quickly. Also, Rabasca (2021) provides that it assists employers in circumventing costly litigation. However, it is also an essential EEOC tool for remedying and stopping workplace discrimination. Therefore, EEOC can ensure solving the sexual harassment problem in the workplace.
Moreover, The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act can solve the sexual harassment problem which is prevalent in the U.S. military. According to Rabasca (2021), in the 2019’s Defense Department report, 16 women claimed to have been sexually assaulted or groped during their past year by other members. Thus, Congress is considering policies that would alter how various armed services steer accusations of sexual assault, rape, or sexual harassment. Hence, the proposed act would remove these cases from unit commanders’ control and give room for special prosecutors who are not within the military command chain to investigate and ensure their prosecution.
The state also has public policies to solve sexual harassment, such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act; this laid the base for developing various sexual harassment laws. At long last, the act established sexual harassment as illegal, especially in the workplace. Additionally, employer actions are proposed to solve sexual harassment, such as the Purple Campaign, which is currently working with various companies to implement and develop concrete anti-harassment policies (Rabasca, 2021). In addition, the Purple Campaign proposes a policy directed at providing numerous methods for ensuring harassment reporting to encourage multiple individuals to report harassment. Therefore, this policy will ensure minimizing and solving the issue of sexual harassment for workers.
Rabasca, L. (2021). Sexual Harassment. Wsu.edu. https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2475/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqr_ht_harassment_2021