According to surveys conducted by the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), 54% of Americans have experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment during their lifetime. Industries with a higher percentage of sexual harassment claims include business and finance, sales, hospitality, civil service, and education. But no profession is immune from the reach of sexual harassment. Additionally, sexual harassment occurs across gender and race demographics. Approximately 21% of workplace sexual harassment victims are men.
According to a lawsuit filed by former CBS reporter Kenneth Lombardi, he was sexually harassed by two of his CBS managers and was later retaliated against after reporting the abuse. Lombardi began working for CBS in 2007 as a freelance video producer and was eventually promoted to a more permanent role interviewing celebrities and covering red carpets. His lawsuit revealed his accounts of several instances of sexual harassment by two CBS managers.
The Wrap reports that in one instance, Lombardi was approached by senior producer Duane Tollison at a holiday party. Tollison allegedly slid his hand down Lombardi’s pants and touched his genitals. Another report included an instance where director Albert “Chip” Colley “quizzed” Lombardi about his sexuality. The lawsuit claims Colley told Lombardi that he was gay and proceeded to text him numerous links to porn sites. The lawsuit lists this as one of many instances where managers discriminated against him based on sexual orientation.
The lawsuit also names supervisor Paula Cohen. According to the lawsuit, Cohen was the supervisory authority over Lombardi. After suffering from repeated instances of harassment, Lombardi’s work performance began to suffer. He was late for work and suffered from difficulty sleeping and eating. Eventually, he reported the abuse to human resources. Instead of receiving support or help, however, Lombardi says he was met with hostility and retaliation. He left CBS soon thereafter. He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for alleged discrimination, sexual harassment, emotional distress and retaliation.