In a lawsuit filed today in Brooklyn by the EEOC, a large fish distributor has been accused of sexual and racial harassment. The suit alleges that the company, M. Slavin and Sons, subjected male black employees working on the overnight shift to constant sexual harassment, inappropriately touching and groping these employees, as well as putting fishhooks on or near employees’ buttocks.
The behavior alleged is particularly troubling in that it claims that white managers and supervisors for the company carried out this behavior, and that it was usually at the expense of black employees, many of whom are recent immigrants.
The case is interesting in that it highlights difficulties faced by recent immigrants. Further, the concept of male on male sexual harassment does not nearly get the attention it deserves. Most individuals are quick to think of sexual harassment as a man harassing a woman, and the stereotyped power relationship that involves.
In this case, there is a new intersection of race and male sexual harassment, something which is increasingly occurring and rarely reported and brought to light.
Sexual harassment can, and often does, happen to men in the workplace. The stigma surrounding such acts should not be a reason why affected individuals do to come forward to report these violations of workers’ rights.