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Have you been a victim of sexual harassment at Amazon?
Do you feel you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment at Amazon?
If so, you’re not alone.
As NPR reported, a study found that
81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. … 38 percent of women said they experienced sexual harassment at the workplace.
To help you decide whether to make a legal claim against Amazon, here are some things you should know.
What is sex-based discrimination?
According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which deals with discrimination in the workplace,
Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex, including the person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy.
Both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in relation to:
Is sexual harassment a form of sex discrimination?
As the EEOC explains,
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Title VII outlaws two types of sexual harassment:
What kinds of things are considered sexual harassment?
As the EEOC notes, sexual harassment can include:
Nolo provides other examples:
Although most cases of workplace sexual harassment involve men harassing women, both the victim and the harasser may be of any gender, and the same sex or different sexes.
A harasser is commonly the victim’s boss, but could also be a co-worker, a subordinate, a colleague, or even an outsider such as a customer, client, or vendor.
Does a person need to object to the harassment?
If there’s a record that you reported your harassment, that can be useful evidence if you decide to file a complaint. It can help to show that the harasser and the victim didn’t have a consensual sexual relationship.
As the EEOC explains,
It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
It can be difficult for a victim to complain about harassment. As Nolo explains,
According to a 2016 study by the EEOC, around 75% of people who experience workplace harassment fail to bring it up with a manager, supervisor, or union representative. One major reason is that employees fear that they will be retaliated against at work. However, another possible reason for underreporting is that employees who are subjected to inappropriate behavior aren’t clear on when it crosses the line into illegal harassment.
It’s important to note that retaliation against an employee for reporting sexual harassment is also illegal.
Nolo adds that
In today’s society, sexual harassment often takes on more subtle forms. Instead of being propositioned for sex or slapped on the rear end, a victim might receive suggestive late-night texts or images, unwelcome sexually-charged comments, or invitations to meetings that somehow turn into dates. These days, sexual harassment is just as likely to happen through emails, social media, or other venues outside of the office.
When does sexual harassment create a hostile work environment?
A single offensive “joke” or remark or pat on the shoulder probably isn’t enough to create a hostile work environment under the law.
As the EEOC explains,
Although the law doesn’t prohibit minor teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not frequent or serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
Sexual Harassment at Amazon
The Washington Post reported that five women sued Amazon, accusing the company of both gender and race discrimination. One plaintiff
who works as a shift manager at an Amazon facility in Harleysville, Pa., alleged a manager compared her to an adult-film star and accused her supervisor of asking her to spend time with him outside work.
She said she was demoted after rebuffing the manager’s sexual advances.
As Vanity Fair reported, Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, stepped down after he was accused of sexual harassment. Producer Isa Hackett said that when she and Price were in San Diego to promote her show The Man in the High Castle at Comic-Con, he propositioned her during a cab ride and later made an obscene suggestion to her at a company party.
Charlotte Newman wrote in Fast Company about her experience of sexual harassment at Amazon:
The manager responsible for evaluating my work in Latin America repeatedly harassed and assaulted me. At first, he called me beautiful while we were on a business trip in Santiago, Chile, in 2017. However, that was only the beginning. His actions later went far beyond words. In 2018, he assaulted me at a work dinner in Washington, D.C. Shockingly, he groped me under the table and pleaded for me to sleep with him. Even after I confronted him and asked him to maintain a professional rapport, he harassed me again in 2019, pulling my hair when I attempted to leave a Seattle work outing and asking if we could pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend.
CNN reported that Amazon hired outside investigators after a petition signed by more than 550 employees alleged “systemic discrimination, harassment, bullying and bias against women and under-represented groups.”
What can you do if you experienced sexual harassment at Amazon?
If you’re dealing with sexual harassment at Amazon right now, or if you left or lost your job because of such harassment, call attorney Cj Rosenbaum at 212-256-1109, text 212-256-8492, or email CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com. You can also submit a summary of your situation online .
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