Sexual harassment can take many forms: it can be sexual advances, a request for sexual favours, or any verbal or physical act that has a sexual nature. When it comes to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace, everyone has to get involved: bosses and managers have to establish a written policy, and employees have to learn what sexual harassment is, as well as how they can identify and report it.
If you would like some examples of what sexual harassment can look like, read more about these famous sexual harassment cases.
1. Several women versus Harvey Weinstein
Many people, when they think of sexual harassment, immediately think about the case of Harvey Weinstein, which was followed by the #MeToo movement. Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry, was accused by several women of not only sexual harassment, but also rape and abuse.
These famous sexual harassment cases have taken the media by storm. Many famous actresses have spoken against him, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
2. Andrea Mackris versus Bill O’Reilly
In 2004, Bill O’Reilly, a former Fox News anchor with many years of experience in the industry, has been charged with sexual harassment and misconduct by Andrea Mackris, the former producer of his show.
She claimed that he sexually harassed her, and made many crude comments to her. This was one of the most famous sexual harassment cases at the time. A settlement was eventually reached, and if Fox renewed O’Reilly’s contract at first, they eventually dropped him.
3. Eight women versus Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose was another powerful man in the news industry. In 2017, eight women who were working for him or had considered working for him came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.
He was fired after these famous sexual harassment cases came to light. Rose issued an apology stating that he did not think all of the accusations against him were accurate. In 2018, more women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment.
4. Anita Hill versus Clarence Thomas
In 1991, Clarence Thomas was about to be nominated as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court when law professor Anita Hill testified that he had sexually harassed her. This case was one of the first cases to address the misconduct of powerful men in the workplace.
Anita Hill’s testimony gave courage to other women who had a sexual harassment story to tell. Clarence Thomas was, however, nominated despite this testimony.
5. Paula Jones versus Bill Clinton
Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment in 1994. She claimed that while he was running for president in 1991, he had exposed himself to her in a hotel room. A settlement was eventually reached.
Three other women accused him of either raping, assaulting or groping them, but Bill Clinton denied all accusations against him, even claiming that his encounters with these women were all consensual.
6. Paula Puopolo versus the US Navy
In 1991, Paula Puopolo, a former Admiral’s aide, attended the Tailhook convention of Navy aviators with her boss in Las Vegas. There, she and many other women were ambushed by 200 drunk aviators as they walked down a hallway.
The men groped them and passed them from hand to hand, which was part of a ritual named “the Gauntlet”. She decided to sue the US Navy when her boss wouldn’t take her complaint seriously.
7. Ani Chopourian versus Catholic Healthcare West
Ani Chopourian was a former physician assistant working at Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital. While she worked there, she was the victim of sexual harassment from her colleagues, and even though she filed many complaints, Catholic Healthcare West did nothing to address them.
She sued them in 2012, and eventually reached a settlement after a complicated legal battle.
8. Ashley Alford versus Aaron’s Rents
In 2011, Ashley Alford sued her former employer, lease-to-own retail chain Aaron’s Rents. She claimed that Richard Moore, her former manager, had sexually harassed and assaulted her.
She sued the company because despite her many complaints, nothing had been done to punish Richard Moore for his actions. She first won a federal court verdict, and a settlement with Aaron’s Rents was eventually reached.
9. Lois Jenson versus Eveleth Taconite Co
In 1975, Lois Jenson was one of the first women to be hired by Eveleth Taconito Co, an iron mine. At that time, men believed that women should stay at home, and that the ones who were working were only stealing a man’s job.
Lois Jenson and her female coworkers were sexually harassed by their male coworkers, until she decided to file a lawsuit in 1984. A settlement was eventually reached.
10. Linda Gilbert versus Daimler Chrysler
After Linda Gilbert was hired as the first female millwright at Chrysler’s Assembly Plant in Michigan in 1992, her male coworkers immediately started harassing her and making crude remarks to her. The sexual harassment lasted for 7 years.
She eventually sued the company and won, but the Supreme Court of Michigan overturned the verdict in 2004, claiming that her attorney used misleading arguments.