Working women in New York may be aware that they could face challenges in the workplace that are not as common for their male counterparts to experience. In the male-dominated technology industry of Northern California, there have been multiple allegations made recently by female employees against higher-ranking male executives for sexual harassment and improper workplace conduct. One story to recently make headlines serves as a reminder that there is no set rule as to who can become the victim of sexual harassment or who can be subject to a sexual harassment lawsuit.
A female Yahoo software engineer who lost her job at the company is saying that her female superior, an engineering executive at Yahoo, coerced her to have sex with her and threatened to fire her and compromise her future if the employee did not comply. The employee says that she was ultimately wrongfully terminated after refusing the advances of her female supervisor. Prior to being fired, the employee says that she was downgraded in her performance reviews and removed as the lead on projects in retaliation for her refusal to engage in sexual activities with her boss.
Yahoo says that the allegations against the engineering executive are entirely untrue, and the company says that it will fight to defend the executive and clear her name. Yahoo itself is also facing allegations that its human resources personnel “refused to conduct a proper investigation” and that the company wrongfully terminated her employment.
The technology center has been struggling to attract more women to its ranks, and the newsworthy accusations made by multiple female employees against their supervisors in the industry may make it harder for the profession to achieve its goals of more gender diversity. Individuals who believe that they may have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace may want to ask an employment law attorney what steps they can take to address the problem.
Source: Washington Post, “Female executive at Yahoo sued for alleged sexual harassment“, Jena McGregor, July 15, 2014