Sexually Harassed at Work? Donald Trump Has Advice. Not Joking Here.

by Evil HR Lady on August 3, 2016

Sexual harassment is a real problem–it happens far too often. So, what should you do if you are harassed at work? Sue? Quit? Keep working and suffering?

People make all these choices and there are good reasons for all of them. But, when asked, the Donald suggested that if his daughter, Ivanka were harassed she should quit and move on. Here’s why that’s simultaneously good advice and bad advice.

Trump Thinks You Should Do This if You Are Sexually Harassed. He May Be Right.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne August 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

It’s always easier to walk away if you’re rich. But Donald Trump Jr said Ivanka wouldn’t allow sexual harrassment to happen to her. (I wasn’t aware there were comments from Trump Sr, only Jr.) To me, that’s just ignorance. None of us as women “allow” harrassment to happen. It happens because it’s still part of our culture. I just feel that when you’re that rich (and male) it’s very hard to understand what low paid women go through. I too hope the women with the resources to fight continue to fight.

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Evil HR Lady August 3, 2016 at 11:42 am

If you have power, you have a lot more ability to stop harassment from recurring, though. And, if you’re confident and have money, it’s easier to put a stop to it.

I don’t worry about the Ivanka Trumps of the world. I worry about the entry level employees and the people on the brink of financial ruin.

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Kate August 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Finding another job is easier said than done, and women who lack Ivanka Trump’s wealth or power are far more likely to face harassment in the first place.

In my early twenties I was sexually harassed by someone senior in my organization, in a very direct way. I remember calling my father crying, because I felt so powerless. He advised me to fight back, and I did, going to someone else in the management of the organization and asking that they put a stop to it in concrete and specific terms. They did, immediately, and not only did the person stop harassing me, I was moved out from under his purview and his personal reputation took a big hit. This was a long time ago, and before things like sexual harassment training had become commonplace.

It was scary to advocate for myself, but I’m glad that I did, and it didn’t hurt my career at all. Twenty years later, in a senior management position at a large company, I too would take any such complaints seriously and protect my employees. I agree that thone who are powerful should fight back, but I hate that you are advising more vulnerable people that they have little recourse other than to abandon their jobs and start over.

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mer August 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

“…but I hate that you are advising more vulnerable people that they have little recourse other than to abandon their jobs and start over.”

I read the article 3 times and nowhere did I see the author advise that. What the article clearly stated was (paraphrased) “…women that have been sexually harassed should fight back if they have the power because it will help those who do not have the power”.
Also stated was that sometimes leaving is the right move; which would be the same for any other job related issue.

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Evil HR Lady August 3, 2016 at 5:57 pm

This is one of those things where there is no right answer. You did the right thing. For someone else, the stress of the lawsuit may have caused her to completely crack. That’s a real thing. Finding a good attorney is also not always easy–and so many people have their friend the real estate attorney handle it because it’s cheaper and that doesn’t end well either.

I support people who sue. I support people who get the heck out of Dodge.

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OhRabbits August 3, 2016 at 4:15 pm

I was a peon in my organization and I left and sued when I was sexually harassed by a Sr. VP. (HR didn’t care about the harassment) I can tell you, it’s not an easy process. I was lucky to find an exceptional employment attorney, but it took years for the company to settle. I certainly didn’t become rich, and it was an emotionally draining experience that I wouldn’t expect anyone else to go through. But things changed. The jerk was no longer allowed to have female direct reports, and things got better for the employees I left behind. Luckily, I ended up at a great job.
In the end, it all worked out for me. But I can’t expect every woman to fight back and go through what I went through. Sometimes it is easier just to leave the abuse behind, and I can respect any woman who chooses that path.

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J.B. August 3, 2016 at 5:01 pm

The isolated quote from Trump was not too bad (the context of him saying Roger Ailes was a great guy and the response from his son not so much). I liked your response.

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Kelly August 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Well said, EHRL! I always appreciate your common sense.

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Evil HR Lady August 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Thank you!

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Megan August 3, 2016 at 7:52 pm

Donald Trump, who is running for PRESIDENT of the USA, should have said that we need to implement stronger policies to combat inequality in the workforce and improve corporate America.

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Anonee August 3, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I think you should find another job AND sue. You don’t have to be wealthy and influential to do what is right (which is stand up for yourself and try to prevent it from continuing to happen). Some attorneys will take on sexual harrasment as a contingency case.

The more people are quiet about it, the longer it goes on.

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Jeanne August 3, 2016 at 10:24 pm

You have to have some amount of power to fight back. Does that come from HR support, evidence, an attorney, or your own inner strength? So many women have no power. They might not even know they have rights.

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Cary August 5, 2016 at 10:55 pm

As someone who was sexually harassed those are some ignorant comments from a man hoping to be President of the United States. “Allowing” implies I was responsible for being harassed.

I really hope there are HR Directors who heard his comments, and suddenly realized they need to up their game and tackle harassment (of any form) head on.

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Cary August 5, 2016 at 11:03 pm

And yes the women who have the power and the money should be fighting back. Be an ally and lever your provilege to protect those without your advantages.

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