Ellen Messing Speaks Out Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Media coverage of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile sexual harassers has heightened public discussion about sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C. founding partner Ellen Messing recently spoke with Boston Globe journalists about less famous victims of workplace harassment.
Ms. Messing cautioned columnist Nestor Ramos that takedowns of celebrity harassers can elicit a false sense of progress: “The overall culture is so protective of these guys that there will be more instances until something more profound changes.”
Over the course of 30 years of advocacy on behalf of workplace sexual harassment victims, Ms. Messing knows that for every instance where a famous man’s misconduct is exposed, there are many, many more situations where managers (across all industries) persist in misusing their power to abuse female subordinates or peers. She also knows that even when women seek justice, they often face a lengthy battle against entrenched institutional adversaries. Until the workplace culture of harassment and cronyism changes, we here at MRW will continue our fight on behalf of our clients facing sexual harassment in their workplaces.
More recently, Ms. Messing offered her thoughts to reporter Andrea Estes on the developing sexual misconduct probe against Massachusetts state judge Thomas Estes. Judge Estes faces allegations of coercing sex acts from a subordinate clinical social worker, an example demonstrating the illusion that a woman has given her consent to a sexual relationship where power dynamics are so unequal. “I believe [Estes] was sincere in saying he believed it was consensual,” Ms. Messing elaborates. “A lot of powerful men believe the kind of relationship they have with subordinates is consensual – for them. They’re looking at it from their point of view.”
Our attorneys regularly consult with clients who have received inappropriate sexual and romantic solicitations from supervisors and the minefield they must then confront. Rejecting the proposition often leads to retaliation: negative performance reviews, denial of advancement, or firing. Accepting the advances hazards mental and emotional trauma, damage to personal reputation, and possibly the same consequences as outright rejection if either party decides to end the relationship.
Our firm strongly supports the rights of women in Massachusetts to live free of sexual harassment of any kind. If you have been subjected to unwelcome advances at work, the best way to determine your legal rights is to consult an attorney. Please contact us. As always, we continue representing employees, protecting employees’ rights.
Post By Paralegal Ian Adams