BY Michelle Garcia
March 04 2010 2:15 PM ET
The proportion of male-on-male claims of sexual harassment in the workplace
has doubled in the past two decades, with many men saying they were
harassed because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, according to the Associated Press.
Men filed 16% of all sexual harassment claims in 2009, up from 8% in 1990, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While a few claims filed by men involve harassment by women, male-on-male cases make up the overwhelming majority. The AP reports that while some cases stem from unwelcome romantic advances, others are because a man is perceived to be gay or considered not masculine enough for their job.
One of the cases taken up the the EEOC is that of John Pilkington, who worked at a steakhouse in Scottsdale, Ariz. He alleges his supervisor repeatedly groped, fondled, and otherwise harassed him. Pilkington, who is married with two children, said that although he complained to management several times, the harassment did not stop. He was eventually fired after yelling at the supervisor. The EEOC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pilkington and three other current and former employees.