Sexual Harassment in the Advertising Industry

Sexual harassment is a popular form of gender discrimination at workplace and it is barred by the federal and state governments. According to the existing laws, it is prohibited to harass or discriminate workers or job applicants based on their gender. The advertising domain is an expansive industry composed of media houses, advertising agencies, marketing and public relation companies that connects manufacturers with their customers.

In recent years, the advertising industry has been in the spotlight due to the rising number of complaints regarding sexual harassment, with most victims being women. These victims report to have been harassed, discriminated against, and sexually assaulted at one time by work colleagues, managers, or customers. Furthermore, some harassment claims touch on colleagues of the same gender and even those of the opposite gender. In addition, sexual harassment can involve uninvited sexual advances, appeal for sexual favors to get employment benefits, pressure for sexual favors to close a sales deal, and displaying offensive posters that are regarded as embarrassing or annoying.

Many people have boldly stepped forward as victims of sexual harassment in the advertising industry, leading to the removal of famous figures who have abused their power through illegal conduct. Therefore, advertising agencies can create a safer work setting for employees by understanding the underlying causes of sexual harassment and being cautious. Below are five common causes of sexual harassment in the advertising industry.
1. Power disparity: involves senior officers intimidating and sexually harassing junior employees
2. Employees are under too much stress, thereby expressing their emotions to other colleagues
3. Many agencies have poorly managed policies and procedures in the workplace. Rules are likely to be broken if the company policies are not spoken
4. Employees do not understand what counts as sexual harassment at their workplace.
5. A relaxed workplace culture.

Sexual harassment often results in emotional and reputational damage to the victim. Therefore, upon effectively establishing a sexual harassment case in court, a victim can recuperate damages incurred. The most common damages are compensatory damages, punitive damages, back pay, and front pay. Back pay is presented to victims who have had their employment terminated due to sexual harassment.

The back pay is calculated based on the victim’s earnings, bonuses, vacations, and retirement benefits that the victim would have earned from the time of termination to the date of the award. Front pay is awarded if the victim was terminated to compensate for the income loss suffered from the judgment date into the future. It is calculated based on the victim’s age, the length of employment, and the possibility of finding a similar job with a different employer.

Sexual harassment is a complex topic that many people shy away from in the workplace. In the advertising industry, several agencies conduct sexual harassment training once a year. Unfortunately, employees tend to be forgetful of the activity. Therefore, to reduce the number of sexual harassment cases in the workplace, it is imperative to create a culture of accountability and awareness through regular enhanced training on sexual harassment.

If you happen to be sexually assaulted in the advertising industry, you should consult an attorney about your possible claims. More so, you will enjoy legal representation against advertisers and other employers. Even though no policy can eliminate the problem of sexual harassment, creating awareness helps reduce the practice. These policies aim to create a safer workplace for men and women and prevent negative actions in the advertising industry.

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