Professional Sports in New York and Sexual Harassment of Women in Male-Dominated Job Fields

Not too long ago, Pew Research Center published research findings that, for many women, were probably supremely unsurprising. While women experienced sexual harassment across a full range of workplaces, the research found that the problem was worst in male-dominated fields. Climbing the ladder and achieving success as a woman in a male-dominated field is hard enough; you shouldn’t also have to overcome the toxicity of sexual harassment, too. If you have experienced a work environment made hostile by sexual harassment, you do not simply have to “deal with it” because the field of work you chose is populated mostly by men. Instead, reach out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer and find out how you can take action.

According to the research released by Pew, about 1 in 5 women in gender-balanced workplaces and female-dominated workplaces experienced sexual harassment at work. For women in male-dominated workplaces, the percentage of workplace sexual harassment was notably higher, at 28%.

A recent report from the New York Daily News is one data point that appears to further back up those numbers. The New York Mets’ baseball organization was, according to multiple female employees, a workplace “toxic” from sexual harassment.

According to the reports, the problem with the Mets organization allegedly was twofold: a high frequency of acts of harassment combined with a lack of action by people in power to whom the harassment was reported.

For example, there was a general manager of the team who, according to the Daily News, sexually harassed a reporter by sending her “dozens of unwanted text messages” while he was an employee of another team. One of those pictures depicted male genitalia in an aroused state. Even after those acts, the Mets hired him.

The team’s former executive producer for content and marketing once tried to excuse his harassing behavior by opining that “at least I’m not as creepy as” the team’s manager, according to the Daily News. That manager during 2018-19 engaged in so many alleged acts of digital harassment that he had a nickname directly invoking the slang word for a picture of male genitalia sent via text message.

Women also came forward with allegations against the team’s hitting coordinator and chief marketing officer.

According to the reports, the team took no known action despite many women speaking up. More than 12 people made the team’s senior vice president of human resources and diversity aware of the harassment but they indicated that they never saw any action taken. Employees stated that, with the Mets, “you could not go to HR to feel protected, comfortable, anything,” according to one report.

Here in New York, the law has some strong protections designed to stamp out workplace sexual harassment. While all of the alleged harassers in the Mets case were team employees, an entity can be liable for sexual harassment even if the harasser was not one of its employees. The law in New York says that an employer can be liable for sexual harassment by contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or consultants if the employer knew or reasonably should have known about the harassment but nevertheless “failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.”

Whether the field in which you work is gender-balanced or dominated by the other gender, you don’t have to tolerate sexual harassment. Reach out to the experienced New York sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates to find out how you can protect yourself. Our attorneys have many years of serving as aggressive advocates for our clients, and we are ready to “go to bat” for you. Contact us online or at (212) 248-7431 today to set up a free and confidential consultation.

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