New York, NY– Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been on the offensive for the past five days after audio of him suggesting he forcibly gropes women he finds attractive. The comments have done damage to his campaign, but he is still in the running. But what if you or a coworker said the same things as Trump, would they get to keep their jobs? It’s not likely.
Last Friday, shocking video of Donald Trump in which he says he can forcibly kiss women and grope women because he is a celebrity, surfaced sending his campaign in a tailspin. Speaking with the then host of Access Hollywood, Billy Bush, Trump discussed trying to seduce a married woman by taking her furniture shopping. Though not necessarily innocent–he is talking about infidelity—that was mild compared to what he would say next.
With goading from Bush and Trump continued with the sexual banter as they ogled an actress who the duo was meeting for a set tour according to the leaked video released by the Washington Post. Upon seeing the actress Trump says, “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her.” He adds, “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
That wasn’t the worst of what Trump said, according to the Washington Post, he continued by saying, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” But the shocking part was his next statement; Bush says “Whatever you want.” So, Trump took it farther and said “Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
To Trump and his diehard supporters, those comments amounted to nothing more than “locker room” talk from 11 years and the people who are outraged are hypocrites. Trump apologized for his remarks and pivoted to Bill Clinton and sexual assault allegations against him.
To his opponents, Trump’s comments appear to suggest that sexual assault is okay and powerful men can take what they want without consequence. His detractors say his comments feed into rape culture and has offended men who believe what Trump said was disrespectful all around.
Just a few days after the tape surfaced, NBC suspended Billy Bush.They haven’t fired him yet and probably won’t according to Scott Pinsker, a crisis communications expert who told Fox News that since Trump is still running for President, the network will be reluctant to treat Bush harsher than him because Trump could become the leader of the free world.
As for the common American worker, comments like the ones Trump would be grounds for termination because it is considered sexual harassment. It would be sexual assault if a worker did what Trump suggests. The workplace is supposed to be free of harassment and hostility, so employers have an obligation to stop the harassment, which means punishing, moving or firing the offending employee.
What Trump said would be considered inappropriate, and something very few American workers could get away with saying in their workplace. That’s true even if the inappropriate comments were shared with a person other than the object. Anyone can feel uncomfortable and file a sexual harassment report. Sexual comments and banter should be left out of the workplace especially if it makes a coworker uncomfortable.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, USAttorneys recommends you speak with a sexual harassment lawyer in New York to assist you with your claim. An attorney will guide you through the steps of filing a sexual harassment claim against your employer and in civil court.