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How Common Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

February 23, 2013

In 2011, ABC News and the Washington Post polled workers to determine how prevalent sexual harassment was in the workplace and evaluate the public’s concern about it. The survey revealed that one in four women and one in ten men had experienced workplace sexual harassment. Other statistics were as follows:

  • In 2011, 64 percent of workers viewed sexual harassment as a problem in the U.S.
  • This statistic was lower than the 85 percent of workers who saw it as a problem in 1992
  • In 2011, of women who experienced workplace sexual harassment 88 percent saw it as a problem

These poll figures are also in line with the number of sexual harassment charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In 1997, sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC were 15,889. By comparison, 2011 complaints were 11,364, which was a significant drop. During the period of 1997 through 2011, complaint numbers peaked when reaching the year 2000, with 15,475 complaints filed. Afterward, complaints steadily declined each year until 2011.

Even so, the ABC/Washington Post poll indicated that there are many workers who experienced sexual harassment and never reported it. Of those, four in 10 either believed making a report would not handle the problem or were afraid of retaliation.

Whatever your personal views about sexual harassment, you have the right to legal recourse if you are a victim of it and consulting a New York employment lawyer can help you take legal action.

Category: Discrimination