The #MeToo movement, sparked by multiple sexual assault cases involving film producer Harvey Weinstein, brought sexual harassment to the forefront. It showcased the prevalence of sexual assault in the workplace and encouraged victims to speak out against this injustice.
In the past, many people kept quiet about sexual harassment in the workplace. They were afraid of the possibility of retaliation. They did not want to get demoted or even lose their jobs because they spoke up. Now, victims are letting their voices be heard.
Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. It can happen in the entertainment world. It can happen in a scientific field. It can happen at any workplace in the world. Many of the abusers are often revered in their field, which can make the allegations hard for others to believe.
One example of sexual harassment in the news is the case of Bill Cosby, star of The Cosby Show, who was known as the quintessential TV dad. He was a beloved personality that many people respected. However, allegations of sexual assault came to light in 2014. It is believed that multiple incidents took place from 1965 to 2008. Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault on September 25, 2018. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Cosby, now 81 years old, will likely see his reputation ruined for the rest of his life.
While not as well-known as Cosby, David Marchant certainly paid the price for engaging in sexual harassment with a graduate student. Marchant, a geologist, was well-known and even had a glacier named in his honor. During an expedition in 1999 and 2000, he had a 22-year-old student accompany him to complete research. Marchant harassed the woman, pushing her down icy slopes and making comments about her sexuality.
The woman did not report the harassment because she was afraid her career would be ruined for speaking out. However, after taking her daughter to her laboratory, she finally decided it was time to speak up. She filed a complaint with Boston University in 2016. Investigators researched the accusations and found Marchant guilty of sexual harassment. He was removed from the faculty. He is currently appealing that decision.
The harassment charges also had implications for Marchant Glacier, located in Antarctica. It was proposed that the name be changed, given that Marchant created a hostile environment for female researchers. Due to the sexual harassment, Marchant also could no longer be regarded as making “outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge.” On September 10, Marchant Glacier was renamed Matataua Glacier.
Contact a New York Sexual Harassment Attorney
Workplaces are supposed to be safe and respectful environments. Nobody should have to endure unwanted touching and sexual remarks. You should not be afraid to speak out if you are a victim.
With the #MeToo movement, more and more women (and men) are taking a stand against sexual harassment and assault. If you have experienced sexual misconduct by your co-workers, customers, or a supervisor, tell your story to the experienced New York sexual harassment attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. We can hold the liable parties accountable for their actions. Call our office at (347) 464-8694 to schedule a free consultation.