Herman Cain and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain addresses an audience at AEI(American Enterprise Institute) for Public Policy Research on October 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Sharon Bialek has become the fourth woman to accuse Republican presidential candidate of sexual harassment. In 1997, Bialek said Cain made unwelcome advances while she was meeting with him about a potential job. The Cain campaign has released a statement yesterday saying that "all allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false."

Joanna Grossman is a law professor who specializes in discrimination in the workplace. She discusses WNYC political reporter Anna Sale was at the press conference yesterday.


Joanna Grossman and Anna Sale

Comments [3]


I heard John Hockenberry read two different comments from listeners on today's program, both of which made me roll my eyes with respect to former President Clinton.

The first was a woman's comment that since some money was paid out in settlement to two of Cain's accusers from years ago, there must have been merit to what they claimed. According to sources, however, the amounts were what litigation attorneys would call "nuisance" amounts -- $35,000 in one case, per reports.

The Paula Jones settlement made by Clinton was $850,000.

And a second comment read on-air by John Hockenberry suggested that there was a large distinction between the Clinton and Cain allegations, insofar as the Clinton allegations (presumably referring to Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky) were of consensual affairs. But again, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey would beg to differ on their "consensual" submissions to Clinton.

Nov. 08 2011 10:52 AM

While they were sitting in the break room, three of my coworkers had a disgusting experience with one of the bosses. He stood by the table, unzipped his pants in front of them, and readjusted himself. He zipped himself up and left. Because they were seated, they were at eye-level with his privates. They went to human resources to report him. Despite all three of them presenting the same story, nothing was done except the boss was forbidden to go in the break room when any of them were present.

While this was relatively minor, it illustrates how lightly harassment is taken and how hard it is for a single accuser to be believed. If three women presenting the same story are virtually ignored, what chance does a woman alone have of being heard or believed?

Nov. 08 2011 10:16 AM
Peg Kennedy

Americans learned from Bill Clinton's presidency that they shouldn't ignore claims of sexual harassment by political candidates. Given that our current representative government is so dysfunctional these days, why would we even consider someone whose leadership could be questioned on a daily basis?

Nov. 08 2011 07:40 AM

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