While the most common version of workplace sexual harassment that most people visualize may be a male harassing a subordinate female, that is not the only form of sexual harassment that Title VII recognizes as actionable. Sexual harassment can be male-on-female, female-on-male, or same-sex. Additionally, the employees’ sexual orientation is not necessarily the key issue, either. In other words, a male can sexually harass another male worker, even if one or both men are heterosexual. All that the law requires in this regard is that the harassment is “based on sex.” An experienced Tennessee sexual harassment attorney can help you determine how to present your case.
One recent example of male-on-male harassment was the case of David, a shift manager at a steel plant. John was a process coordinator at the plant. John had trained David and assigned David’s duties, but both technically reported to Mark, the area manager. David started having problems shortly after he and John began working together. John allegedly asked about David’s sex life, grabbed David’s posterior and commented on its firmness, and also grabbed his genitals at least twice.
After the genital-grabbing incident, David complained to human resources. They offered him a transfer to a different area of the plant, which he accepted. They also demoted John and forced him to take a leadership class. The harassment stopped at that point. Nevertheless, a few months later, David resigned his position.