Sexual harassment at work place can be defined as offensive verbal or physical acts that are of sexual nature being extended by a colleague (Conte, 2010).
In the current case and issues surrounding Herman Cain the Republican presidential candidate, it is apparent that cases of sexual harassment have taken place based on the above definition. The cases against Cain are very significant because they are going to help in redefining sexual harassment (Faw, 2011). In one of the five cases, Cain alleges that he referenced a women’s height to be like that of his wife.
Notably, sexual harassment is gaining more attention in the media at least in the past two years. Good examples include the former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal over alleged rape of a hotel house-cleaner and the Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden to face charges relating to sexual transgression.
Cases against Cain
Out of the five individuals accusing Cain of sexual discrimination, only three have come out openly (Quigley, 2011). The other two have remained anonymous. Karen Kraushaar, 55, is one of the accusers who indicate that she was compensated after experiencing inappropriate behavior from Cain. Another lady named Sharon Bialek is also Cain’s accuser (Quigley, 2011). She is said to be the first women to publicly state that she faced sexual aggression from Cain as she went for advice from him in 1997.
Donna Donella, previously working for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also reports that she refused to help in making dinner table for Cain and an Egyptian businesslady nine years ago because she felt uneasy (Faw, 2011). The other two are anonymous.
One of them came out after the Politico news paper reported that her together with another co-worker Karen Kraushaar had received settlement from their employer National Restaurant Association for sexual harassment claims (Quigley, 2011). The last accuser is a former employee of NRA who says that aspects she considers sexually inappropriate were extended to her by Cain and thus opted filing a workplace protest (Faw, 2011).
If we pay particular emphasis to the Mrs. Kruashaar, it emerges that she never said what Cain had said or done. However, the New York Times had indicated earlier that Mrs. Kraushaar received a sum of USD 45000 as settlement from the restaurant. Although Cain denies knowing her, Mrs. Kraushaar talks of one’s vulnerability if they are being sexually harassed. She laments that one has to do anything possible to secure a job in a secure work environment and she felt that she had achieved that when she left the restaurant (Faw, 2011).
This points clearly that there might have been acts of sexual aggression.
The issue of gender discrimination in work place is utterly sensitive. The fact that managers may not know what amounts to sexual harassment may lead to huge losses for the company when the victims file claims against the company (Conte, 2010). From these current events, it is clear that through Cain, NRA lost USD 45,000 to Mrs. Kraushaar (Faw, 2011).
Further, the career of Mr. Cain is at stake if more victims continue to come up. If we take Cain to be a manager, we realize that he is still denying any involvement in sexual harassment acts that amount to gender discrimination at work place. For a manager, this may further ruin individual’s career.
Conte, A. (2010). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Law and Practice. Amsterdam: Aspen Publishers.
Faw, L. (2011). How the Herman Cain allegation are Defining Sexual harassment. The ForbesWoman Files. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeswomanfiles/2011/11/05/how-the-herman-cain-allegations-are-redefining-sexual-harassment/
Quigley, R. (2011). Now Herman Cain faces further allegation as FIFTH woman accuses him of ‘uncomfortable’ dinner date request – and sticking her with the cheque!. Retrieved from