A Deeper Look at Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Statistics

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: August 7, 2019

The #MeToo movement, along with other initiatives, have shed more light on issues dealing with sexual harassment. From training workers to hiring more female talent, people and companies are now taking action in fighting against unwanted sexual acts at work.

However, despite these movements and measures done by various institutions, are firms doing enough to combat sexual harassment? Numerous statistics on sexual harassment at work tell a different story. We’ve gathered key numbers and information regarding these cases to illustrate how these measures have affected workers.

The Prevalence of Gender-Based Sexual Harassment

In 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported an increase in the number of sexual harassment cases filed against employers. The #MeToo movement played a significant role in this increase in filed cases since it helped people learn more about sexual harassment and speak out about their experiences. Female employees filed most of these claims, with 15.9% of male workers following suit.

Previous statistics also show that women experience sexual harassment at work more often. 27% of the female respondents in a 2017 CNBC survey said they were sexually harassed on the job. Research from Quinnipiac University has verified how prevalent work-based sexual harassment is as well, with 69% of their respondents stating that they were involved in such cases.

Aside from male and female employees, workers who are members of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender)have also experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. In their research, NPR found that their potential employers harassed 20% of LGBT job applicants.

Notable Statistics on the Types of Sexual Harassment at Work

Further research shows that workplace sexual harassment usually takes place through the following forms:

  • Sexual coercion
  • Unwanted sexual attention
  • Gender harassment

Inappropriate touching and unwelcome advances also happen in the workplace. YouGov’s 2017 poll stated that employers did not behave appropriately around 23% of respondents. This figure covers sexual approaches and favors as well.

Sexual harassment statistics for workers in the U.K. also reflect the prevalence of inappropriate sexual behavior at work. The rate for female victims is at 52%, with 25% facing touchy employers. 20% of the victims have also dealt with undesirable approaches from their bosses.

Filing Sexual Harassment Complaints

The number of workers who report sexual harassment at work is also a cause for concern. Most victims stay quiet about their case, with 87 to 94% of employees choosing not to file claims. But there are also people who decide to pursue complaints against their employers. These cases pertain to specific forms of sexual harassment.

Among the different types of sexual harassment, the EEOC receives 30% of complaints about sexual coercion from employees. They also state that eight percent of these claims focus on inappropriate touching.

Consequently, employers retaliated against 75% of workers for filing sexual harassment cases, with some companies choosing to ignore these reports or keeping victims in check by demoting them.

Other Key Sexual Harassment Facts

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace usually occurs in specific fields such as construction and service or utility work. It also takes place more often in positions that offer less pay.
  • Food and hospitality, retail, and STEM industries have the most number of sexual harassment cases according to a 2015 survey published in Cosmopolitan Magazine.
  • 45% of bachelor’s degree holders have become victims of sexual harassment at work. 19% of master’s degree holders and 29% of undergraduates also experienced the same fate.
  • Workplace sexual harassment is rampant in California’s IT sector, as noted in a 2016 survey. People with supervisory positions made sexual approaches to 60% of employees. 40% kept quiet about their case, fearing retaliation and fewer career opportunities.
  • The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have spread more awareness about sexual harassment within the past three years. NBC and the Wall Street Journal’s 2017 survey saw that this fact became evident in their respondents. The two movements have motivated 44% of females to come forward with their experiences, with 77% of men defending these victims.
  • Additional employer compensation for sexual harassment claims under the EEOC amounts to $700 million. The organization also gave workers $56.6 million in compensation throughout 2018.

Build a Strong Case with an Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Many employees underperform and eventually leave their positions due to sexual harassment and other derogatory actions that happen in their work environment. Firms that tolerate these acts tarnish their reputation and lose trust from potential applicants and the general public. These facts only prove that sexual harassment is a recurring issue that affects both workers and businesses. Companies need to do more than the bare minimum to resolve these alarming cases.

Filing a sexual harassment claim against your employer is a grueling process. Never try to resolve your case without seeking proper legal help as you will be faced with aggressive defense lawyers who will dispel your allegations and leave you on the losing end. Hiring a competent sexual harassment attorney is your best option for getting the appropriate compensation you deserve. Mesriani Law Group provides excellent legal representation for victims all over California. With our experience in handling sexual harassment claims, we will help you get fair compensation for your case and make sure that your needs are met throughout the entire legal process. Our offices in Los Angeles and Santa Monica are open for legal consultations.