New York residents may have heard about Gretchen Carlson’s $20 million settlement over sexual harassment allegations she had raised against the former CEO of Fox News Channel. In addition to the money, she also received a public apology. While Carlson received what could be described as a favorable outcome in her case, it is unknown if the result will encourage others to tell their own stories of abuse in the workplace.
A representative from the National Women’s Law Center says the fact that Carlson received a tangible and timely resolution to her case could empower others. Even if they don’t get $20 million, Carlson may be a role model that others can look up to when attempting to overcome their own situations. The representative stated that the Carlson case was comparable to the Anita Hill case in 1991 that raised awareness for the issue. In that case, Hill alleged that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her.
Although the outcome wasn’t in Hill’s favor, it did play a role in increasing the number of workplace sexual harassment complaints the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received. Given that Carlson won her case, it may also play a role in whether or not women or anyone who has faced sexual harassment at work will decide to pursue their own allegations.
Those who feel as if they receive differing treatment due to gender at work may wish to talk to an attorney. This may include being asked to work longer hours, being subjected to questions or comments that employees of the other gender do not deal with or any other actions that don’t apply equally to all workers. It may be possible to collect compensation for wrongful termination if an individual is let go because of filing a sexual harassment complaint against any colleague.