According to a new study from the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, sexual harassment in the workplace is decreasing, but gender harassment is increasing. If you or someone you know was the victim of sexual or gender harassment in the workplace, you may be eligible for compensation.
Researchers at the university polled 500 women in September 2016 and again in September 2018. These women reported a decrease in unwanted sexual attention and harassment in those two years. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) still received 14 percent more sexual harassment complaints in 2018 than they did in 2017. This came after the #MeToo movement went viral, which encourages women to speak out against sexual harassment and assault.
It is estimated that between 15 to 20 percent of sexual assault incidents are reported, so the increase in sexual harassment complaints in 2018 could mean a willingness to speak up and report sexual harassment. Since the #MeToo movement went viral, 72 percent of companies updated their office policies.
Increase in Workplace Gender Harassment
Researchers found that the percentage of women facing workplace gender harassment increased from 76 percent to 93 percent during 2016 and 2018. Researchers believe that the increase in workplace gender harassment could be a form of retaliation against the #MeToo movement. Workplace gender harassment includes:
Offensive or crude jokes about sex or gender
Employers have a responsibility to take the proper and necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment. An employer can only be held legally responsible if they were informed that the harassment was taking place by the victim.
Filing a Sexual Harassment or Discrimination Case
If you plan on filing a sexual harassment or discrimination claim, you should keep in mind that an employer cannot retaliate against you for doing so. If you are being harassed, you should record places, times, dates, and any coworkers who may have witnessed the incidents. You should then inform your employer so that they are aware the harassment is taking place. When reporting the harassment to your employer, you should do it in writing. You can then follow your company’s sexual harassment complaint process, file a complaint with a state or federal agency, and even take the complaint to court.