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The impact on her was clear from the texts she sent a friend: "The shit he says…makes me wanna kill myself," Wolfe wrote, according to her complaint.
"He's so low and nasty, I might quit." The exec later resigned, and Wolfe, who declined to comment, settled with Tinder for an undisclosed amount.
"As a person, it really degrades you." This is what sexual harassment looks like in 2015, when there are more ways to creep on someone at work than ever before—and perhaps, more confusion about what's off-limits.
As the workplace starts to feel more laid-back (your boss is your Facebook friend, your coworkers text you after hours, everyone meets for Whiskey Thursdays…at the office), more subtle forms of sexual harassment are taking a psychological and economic toll on women across the country.
"We have a lot of people who call our hotline who aren't sure if what they're experiencing is sexual harassment," says Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit civil-rights law firm.
"Then they tell us they're getting persistent comments and dating requests and coworkers are calling women bitches.
"With the advent of social media, there is a much more casual relationship between coworkers and supervisors, and that absolutely creates more opportunity for people to cross the line between professional and unprofessional conduct," says David Lowe, a San Francisco employment lawyer.
Lowe represented Tinder's former marketing vice president Whitney Wolfe, who last year sued the dating app for sexual harassment.
Cosmo's survey confirms this confusion: Sixteen percent of women polled answered "no" when asked outright if they've been sexually harassed at work but answered "yes" to experiencing sexually explicit or sexist remarks at their jobs."It wasn't overt, textbook, grabbing a butt, or asking me on a date," says Waters of her experience with Zivkovic, "but I felt deeply uncomfortable and sexualized and it created anxiety problems for me.I wanted to make a career as a writer on my own merit, but it felt like it wasn't my work that was being elevated."Zivkovic, on the other hand, flatly denies he acted inappropriately toward any of the women and says the incidents they labeled harassment were misunderstandings that didn't happen in professional settings or situations.And about 1 in 4 have received lewd texts or e-mails.
Debunking the myth that it's the lecherous male boss who's most likely to sexually harass women, most women polled— 75 percent—say they were targeted by male coworkers and about half were harassed by male clients or customers, compared to 38 percent by male managers.
Over the past 15 years, the number of sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC has held steady between around 7,000 and 9,000 (which is to say nothing of the unreported cases). One young female CEO contacted for this story e-mailed to say she "isn't a proponent of the message that women are sexually harassed in workplaces." But a new survey from says sexual harassment is still widespread: Roughly 1 in 3 women ages 18 to 34 has been sexually harassed at work, reveals our study of 2,235 fulltime and part-time female employees, conducted by the polling firm Survey Monkey.