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  • A Different Kind of Discrimination

    And from the snapshot we got of the accused (Melissa Brandt) was not only boorish, confrontational and physically provocative in her behavior against former lab technician (William Sheard), but more so, not that Lenscrafters was only slow to address the issue: many thought that Lenscrafter’s had a culture that tolerated harassment of men by women, and it’s probably more prevalent in corporate America than we imagine.

    Can a woman sexually harass a man?

    What happens when something that always happens one way – unexpectedly happens another way entirely: goes in complete reverse of the wayeveryone is accustomed? It either shocks one into urgency or paralyzes someone into doing nothing, due to its far-fetched nature.

    There is a case of discrimination, where a man has sued optical chain Lenscrafters, based on female-on-male sexual harassment. Yes,

    Courtesy: David Hughes/PhotoXpress Free Images

    it seems strange – but the uniqueness of the circumstance might not be that exotic, but we did find out – that Lenscrafters less than zealous enforcement of fair and equal discrimination rights, has not only besmirched their reputation, but will now cost them some money.

    And from the snapshot we got of the accused (Melissa Brandt), she was not only boorish, confrontational and physically provocative in her behavior against former lab technician (William Sheard), but more so, Lenscrafters was slow to address the issue: many thought that Lenscrafter’s had a culture that tolerated harassment of men by women, and it’s probably more prevalent in corporate America than we imagine.

    In his Huffington Post article, LensCrafters Settles Female-On-Male Sexual Harassment Case, Dave Jamieson talks about female-on-male sexual harassment not being so uncommon, but because of the male-dominated culture of society, it might seem implausible, but it is an  unfortunate reality: a reality nonetheless.

    Jamieson stated, “At a holiday party in 2008, Brandt allegedly tried to grab Sheard’s crotch several times, to the point where Sheard had to leave. After repeated rejections, Brandt eventually made a sexual harassment claim against Sheard, a charge she later admitted was false, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that LensCrafters management immediately investigated Brandt’s charge while ignoring Sheard’s…Sheard repeatedly brought his issues to management — at first the lab manager, and then up the company ladder — all to no avail, the suit said. All told, the alleged harassment lasted for more than a year…. Female-on-male harassment cases aren’t unheard of, though they are far less common than the male-on-female variety. According to EEOC data, the percentage of males filing harassment complaints has been rising in recent years, from about 12 percent in 1997 to an all-time high of 16.4 percent last year. But EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer says the agency doesn’t track how many of those complaints are men filing against women or men filing against other men.

    As the CEO of Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, I now recognize that sexual harassment can be perpetrated from a woman against a man: and it should be given the same immediate attention and seriousness that would be given a woman being allegedly harassed by a man. Let’s hope that professional people respect the humanness and personal space of our colleagues, and create healthy and empowering work spaces.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    Calvin.wilson1@verizon.net

    Filed Under: Women's Business

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