Some years ago when I first began to model, I remember being clued in on details about the distinguished “casting couch” by my fellow models. For those who may not be familiar with this, “the casting couch” is the term used by those in the acting and modeling industry to describe the exchange of sexual favors for an aspiring actress, model or employee to a superior for access into that occupation or for additional job bookings.
I will admit that times may have changed quite a bit but one thing that has not changed is the popularity of the casting couch in that particular industry and in many others. Just like now, while it may have been illegal back then, there were no laws to protect models, actors or professional individuals like there are today. And just like now, many had aspirations to want to “make it” and they felt that the casting couch was a sure way to reach those aspirations. At that time, if sexual requests or advances were imposed on you, you had a choice; that choice was either to submit or decline. Unfortunately there was no such thing as hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit, fight for rights and collect an award. The reason is because, there wasn’t a significant amount of support in the legal system back then to enforce the filings of a sexual harassment claim, and there was no substantive lawsuit that could have been filed for those reasons; so therefore collecting an award was extremely improbable.
Several times in the modeling industry I became faced with unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. As a young and aspiring model, there were times that I became slightly confused and overwhelmed with the so-called choices that were constantly placed in front of me by designers, promoters and other higher-ups in the industry but I remained steadfast in my decision to continually reject the offers.
While I may have had some rights back then, I certainly was not aware of them therefore the thought of hiring an attorney never crossed my mind in those times. Nowadays, things are much different. The federal government is active in taking action against misconduct in every industry. Many people are aware that they have rights against those who violate sexual harassment laws and other laws implemented by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When the laws are broken, the violators are rightfully held responsible and the victim is always protected from the time the lawsuit is filed; and even after the case is closed. No one has a right to cause hostility in the workplace, whether it be a coworker, a supervisor or anyone else. Every employee is entitled to work in a peaceful job environment.
Whether you are an aspiring actor, actress, model or are in a completely different profession, you too are entitled to work in a peaceful job environment. If you believe you have been the victim of NYC workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, our team of New York City sexual harassment lawyers strongly urge you to reach out to our law firm for a free consultation.
The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handle sexual harassment cases in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. We also represent employee’s sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Miami Sexual Harassment is gender-based discrimination and is illegal. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or click here to schedule a free consultation.