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How Common Is Sexual Harassment At Work?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Sexual Harassment |

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which can happen at any point in your career, not just when you’re seeking a promotion or a raise. Sexual harassment in the workplace, can impact your career, or even cost you your job.

According to a 2018 national study on sexual harassment and assault by Stop Street Harassment (SSH), 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime. 38% of women and 13% of men, reported sexual harassment and/or assault at their workplace.

Additionally, recent data by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), shows that between FY 2018 and FY 2021, a total of 27,291 charges alleging sexual harassment were received. Of the 27,291 sexual harassment charges filed, 43.5% were concurrently filed with a retaliation charge.

Industries With the Most Sexual Harassment Claims

According to a decade’s worth of data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2005-2015), more than 85,000 charges of sexual harassment were filed with the EEOC across different industries. Below are the industries with the most claims:

  • Accommodation and food services industry: including full-service restaurants, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, recreational facilities, inns, hotels, and other hospitality establishments, accounted for 14.2 percent of the sexual harassment claims filed.
  • Retail industry: The retail industry, accounted for 13.4 percent of the EEOC’s sexual harassment claims, this includes businesses that engage in a variety of consumer sales such as department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail establishments.
  • Manufacturing: Accounting for 11.72 percent of the sexual harassment claims filed. Because many manufacturing jobs have long been male-dominated, women who enter the field may lack power or be seen as outsiders, thus making them targets for harassment.
  • Health care and social assistance: From registered nurses to medical assistants to childcare workers, the health care industry is predominantly occupied by women. Some of these jobs are also low paying, which can make them more vulnerable. This industry accounted for 11.48 percent of the sexual harassment claims filed.

Sexual harassment poses a significant problem in the United States. From verbal to virtual to physical forms, millions of people in the United States experience sexual harassment and/or assault, especially those who are: female, low-income, a person of color, identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, or live with a disability.

What To Do If You Are Experiencing Sexual Harassment at Work

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, you must speak with a lawyer. Sexual harassment can take many forms and may be more subtle than most expect. It is important to understand what is happening and what your rights are. Speak with a lawyer immediately.

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