Male Execs' Measures to Avoid Sexual Harassment Lawsuits May Leave Them Vulnerable to Sex Discrimination Claim Instead

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 3, 2018
hunters-race-408744-unsplash

Men in the financial services industry, increasingly wary of becoming the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit, are taking steps to simply avoid interaction with female colleagues to the greatest extent possible, which may leave them open to a sexual discrimination lawsuit instead, according to Bloomberg. Men are reporting a variety of avoidance measures to head off any potential complaints of untoward behavior, ranging from ending business lunches with women to avoiding sitting next to them on flights to deciding to simply never be in a room alone with a woman. But Bloomberg noted that these very interactions tend to be vital for developing the connections that boost people's careers throughout their lives, and that there is a long history of women successfully suing when their sex prevents them from participating. Men refusing to work with, mentor or otherwise support women solely because they are women can hobble their careers and overall contribute to gendered gaps in pay, titles and other career milestones. Such avoidance activities could therefore leave these men vulnerable to sexual discrimination lawsuits.

At least one male executive interviewed, however, said that the measures many of his peers are taking are excessive, observing that it's not that difficult to simply treat people with respect. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.