A few weeks ago, Peyton Manning, beloved football star and recent winner of the Superbowl, came under fire regarding a report that resurfaced about his time in 1996, while at the University of Tennessee. According to the report, Manning allegedly put his genitals on a trainer's face during an examination. According to Manning, he was mooning a teammate at the time. The trainer and the University settled out of court.
We may never know exactly what happened in the training room that day, but the incident has already brought on a renewed national discussion regarding both sexual assault and sexual harassment at colleges and universities. It is also relevant to sexual harassment at the workplace, which does not necessarily have to be sexual advances or unwanted verbal comments or pressuring sexual in nature.
Sexual harassment may also include sexual innuendos and even discussions between fellow employees that are sexual in nature and leave another employee feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Even if the Manning incident was a mere mooning to a fellow teammate, it is still inappropriate and possibly grounds for sexual harassment. Regardless of the working environment, whether it is an office, a warehouse or a college football locker room, workers are entitled to work free of unwelcome sexual situations.
For workers in a situation that sexual harassment in any form, it is crucial to address the situation, not only for the victim, but for fellow employees and future employees who may also experience the same situation. Speaking with a superior or the Human Resources at the company is a start, but he or she may also wish to reach out to a state or local organization that handles discrimination and harassment or even a firm that deals with employment law to learn how to best proceed.
Source: The New York Post, "Peyton Manning cited in Tennessee sex assault lawsuit," Mark W. Sanchez, accessed on Feb. 16, 2016