A hostile work environment is one where toxic behaviors like discrimination and harassment occur regularly. In a toxic work environment, management either ignores or encourages these issues. Sexual harassment is one of the many behaviors that can contribute to a toxic work environment. A few symptoms of a toxic work culture include:
- High turnover;
- Employee unwillingness to challenge the status quo;
- Employee unwillingness to work together as a functional team;
- Workplaces where employees are afraid to challenge their supervisors; and
- Workplaces where promotion, raises and retention are dependent on compliance with the status quo, rather than individual performance.
Examining High Profile Sexual Harassment Termination Cases
In 2016, longtime Fox News producer Roger Ailes resigned from his position with the station after allegations of his sexual harassment of female producers and anchors made national headlines. In 2017, television host Bill O’Reilly was fired from the station after he was accused of sexually harassing multiple women who appeared on his show and those who worked for the show.
Although these high-profile cases show that sexual harassment is punished when it is brought to the light, many question whether Fox News has truly reformed its workplace culture or if the resignation and termination of these men was simply an attempt to pacify the public. Many of the executives Ailes hired during his tenure remain at the station and only time will tell if things change.
What to Do if your Workplace is a Sexist, Toxic Environment
Some of the allegations discussed above date back to the 1980s and 90s. Many sexual harassment victims avoid speaking up about their experiences because they think their concerns will be ignored or swept under the rug. When this happens, victims need to speak up louder and take legal action to pursue the sexual harassment claims they are entitled to pursue.
Document every single instance of sexual harassment you experience or observe. The key to a successful sexual harassment claim is providing sufficient evidence to show that not only did sexual harassment occur, but you experienced financial damages as a result. If one of your colleagues files a sexual harassment claim, cooperate with the investigation if you observed the harassment. Remember, sexual harassment in a workplace does not just hurt the direct victim. It creates a workplace where toxic behavior and apathy on the part of bystanders become the norm, causing victims to miss days of work and those seeking advancement to keep quiet about problems they observe.
Work with Our Team of Experienced NYC Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Sexual harassment should never be accepted in a workplace. Even if you are not the direct target of sexual harassment in your workplace, you can suffer from the effects of a toxic workplace culture. To learn more, contact our team of NYC sexual harassment lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. to set up your initial consultation with us, during which we can discuss your rights and legal options.