For decades, certain men in power or who think they have power have wielded it in unscrupulous, disgusting and unlawful ways. Their behavior cemented them as uncouth predators pursuing women in the workplace just to see how many more victims they can harass.
The #MeToo movement’s latest spotlight on abusive men in the workplace shines brightly on a disgraced California Republican lawmaker, whose behavior over the past decade finally led to even his own party to seek his ouster. Bill Brough, a three-term assemblyman from south Orange County, lost his bid for re-election in the March primary, and in late May was stripped of his committee assignments due to his history of sexual harassment.
Stripped of committee assignments, loses in primary
A legislative investigation, which began last year, confirmed that on at least two occasions, Brough had inappropriate verbal and physical contact with an Orange County supervisor in 2011. The investigation determined that Brough inappropriately touched the woman, while suggesting he could provide political favors in exchange for sex. The complaint also highlighted that additional people had similar experiences with Brough, who has denied the incidents.
Once the investigation was complete, Brough was stripped of his committee assignments and ordered to enroll in discrimination and harassment training. Brough was a member of the Business and Professions as well as Revenue and Taxation committees.
If you are an employee subjected to unwelcomed sexual advances, consistent leering, inappropriate touching or asked to perform sexual favors, take action. Speak up. The #MeToo movement is here to stay and has empowered women. Here are some things you can do:
- Keep detailed records of every harassment incident.
- Save all questionable communiques from the harasser. This includes emails, texts and social media posts.
- Contact your manager or human resources. Regardless, you want to talk to someone you can trust. If your manager is the harasser, contact human resources. But also remember, human resources may not be helpful since it looks out for the company more so than its employees.
We can only hope that workplace sexual harassment from people in power ends. But as long as it continues to rear its ugly head, you must remember to protect yourself. You have the law on your side.