An in-depth look at sexual harassment

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Movie executive Harvey Weinstein. News anchors Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer. Politician Roy Moore. These are just a few of the big names who have recently faced sexual misconduct allegations. However, here in North Carolina, there is no law which directly deals with sexual harassment.

“I think that’s gross, inappropriate behavior,” Eva Terashima, a resident, said.

“That’s honestly crazy. Like, if you work in a business, you should be more professional about it,” Marianna Montoru, a resident, said.

Shock, confusion and frustration. Those are all words which describe the reactions as fallout continues over sexual misconduct allegations.

“To me that shows that that is someone who has gotten by with that behavior for a long time. That wasn’t just an overnight hey, I’m now a perv. It’s-that’s been a long time coming I would imagine,” Terashima said.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwanted actions of a sexual nature in the workplace. The recent cases of sexual misconduct have brought a wave of allegations. Thus, making it easier for alleged victims to come forward. But some don’t know exactly what qualifies.

“North Carolina is a little bit unusual in that we don’t have a state law separate and apart from the federal law that really deals with sex harassment,” Northwood Blanchard, an attorney, said.

He also says in North Carolina, more cases of discrimination in the workplace have come to light as a result of this.

“It’s tremendously under-reported because, you think about it, you know, women for example are 47 percent of the nation’s workforce. So there’s just statistically a lot more opportunities for that type of discrimination to take place,” Blanchard said.

But despite the difficulties that victims face, many people hope this will help women come forward.

“Hopefully, it is worth it now, to at least be heard and not be shamed or dragged through the mud,” Terashima said.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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