Sexual Harassment at Work
If you're like me, you've probably read the recent headlines about the settlement between Fox News and former TV anchor Gretchen Carlson. The story made waves when Carlson claimed she was sexually harassed by former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Now just two months after Carlson's lawyers filed the papers, Fox News and Carlson have reportedly settled the case for $20 million. In addition, as part of the settlement agreement, Fox issued a rare public apology that stated "We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
We should be proud of courageous women like Carlson who stand up for their rights and their beliefs. It can be hard. Certainly there is doubt, fear, and the possibility of being shunned by co-workers, friends, and family. The idea of risking your career and going up against the "boys" is enough to make you think twice, three times, and ultimately remain silent. I believe educating women and advising them of their civil rights is paramount. But in a tough situation will a woman make the choice to defend herself?
My hope is we all learn a lesson from this recent lawsuit—that no matter who you are, where you come from, where you work or the "powerful" people involved, you have a voice and are protected under U.S. sex discrimination laws.
Women are powerful and deserve to be treated with respect.
–Marra Chinn Allen
Marketing Manager, Harris Law Firm