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Some may be using #MeToo as a reason to discriminate

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2019 | Discrimination

Generally speaking, the #MeToo movement has given a lot of people the courage to speak up about sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior in the work environment. This has been a positive thing for the most part, since no employee in Colorado should have to endure sexual harassment.

However, it has recently come to light that, instead of just making the necessary reforms to make the work environment better, some employers are using the #MeToo movement as a reason not to give women opportunities to advance their careers. According to one report, 21% of male workers with hiring authority and even 12% of females with hiring authority admitted that, in the wake of the movement, they would be less likely to hire women for positions that involved close contact with men, like positions that involved frequent business travel.

This result does not account for those who have been unwilling or unable to admit that they too would favor males for these sorts of positions. Likewise, around 20% of men said that they would hesitate to hire a woman if they perceived her as sexually attractive. Additionally, 6% of women said that they would be less likely to hire an attractive woman.

At least according to the authors of this study, the end result of the #MeToo movement could be that employers in Colorado hire fewer women rather than more women. This unintended result will, of course be unacceptable to many, and it may well be illegal as well. After all, both federal and state law prohibit gender discrimination, and it is hard to see how it is anything but discriminatory to exclude a woman from a job just because of fears about legal trouble that the woman herself can do little to nothing about.