Numerous reports suggest the Los Angeles entertainment industry might have a severe problem with sexual harassment. Female comedians report being sent sexually explicit text messages, photos, and in some cases even being raped. The women created Facebook groups where they conversed with each other about specific offenders and their own experiences.
Famous actresses have reported the same problems in Hollywood. Last October, actress Ashley Judd spoke to Vanity Fair about her experiences with sexual harassment in the Hollywood entertainment industry. According to Judd, sexual harassment is rampant in film industry. Judd claims one studio executive groomed her over a period of several months and at one point asked her to watch him take a shower.
In her comments to Vanity Fair, Judd describes how she internalized the shame of what happened. Shame is a common emotion after facing sexual harassment. Judd’s experience raises questions on how sexual harassment can affect workers. A study from the University of Maine suggests workers who experience sexual harassment can suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, high blood pressure and insomnia.
Fortunately, workers who have been affected by sexual harassment have legal options for fighting back.
What Legal Options Are Available to Stop Sexual Harassment?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act grants federal protections against workplace sexual harassment. Employers who are sexually harassing their workers might be violating these protections, and thus breaking a federal law. Workers who experience sexual harassment should contact an employment law attorney right away to discuss options for holding these employers accountable.