Sexual harassment has been in the news a lot lately, with a number of high-powered CEOs stepping down after being accused of sexual misconduct. Justin Caldbeck, a Silicon Valley investor and the co-founder of Binary Capital, has stepped down after being accused of sexually harassing a number of female founders working in technology. Six women reported that Caldbeck groped them, sent text messages late at night and made unwanted advances towards them.
Caldbeck originally denied the allegations, but recently made a statement saying that the women made him more self-aware about his inappropriate behavior. Fellow co-founder, Jonathan Teo, apologized for not forcing Caldbeck to leave immediately once his behavior was exposed. Binary Capital is conducting an internal investigation to stop these issues from arising in the future.
Women in male-dominated fields, such as technology, may be especially susceptible to sexual harassment. However, men and women in all fields of work can experience sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, whether it is physical or verbal in nature, can greatly impact a person’s ability to do their jobs and can make them uncomfortable and fearful at their workplace.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects Rhode Island workers from all unwanted sexual advances and other forms of harassment. Isolated incidents of harassment or teasing are not generally prohibited under the law, but serious, persistent harassment that adversely impacts the employee’s career or work life is illegal and victims may take legal action against the harasser and the employer. You may have to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before filing a lawsuit in federal court.
Source: CNN Tech, “Silicon Valley investor resigns after sexual harassment allegations,” Seth Fiegerman and Sara Ashley O’Brien, June 26, 2017