When women in California face sexual harassment in the workplace, many people say, “Why didn’t you just report it?” Unfortunately, there’s a reason why many women don’t report sexual harassment. A new study has revealed that a large percentage of employees have experienced sexual harassment, and to make matters worse, a large percentage of them faced threats or intimidation afterward. Since the perpetrator is often allowed to keep their job while the victim gets fired or resigns, many workplaces foster a toxic environment of threats and harassment.
The study revealed surprising statistics
The National Women’s Law Center recently conducted a study about sexual harassment in the workplace. To gather data, researchers looked at cases involving the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. They discovered that over 70% of people who were sexually harassed faced retaliation if they reported the incident. Common forms of retaliation include wrongful termination, denied promotions and defamation lawsuits.
Employment law forbids sexual harassment in the workplace. However, many companies don’t enforce this law, which allows supervisors and employees to harass their co-workers without consequences. Over one-third of the cases involved rape or physical assault. Additionally, a small percentage of employees were threatened with physical harm if they reported the incident to their supervisors.
Experts say that we need to make changes
The president of the National Women’s Law Center pointed out that many people have had their lives destroyed because of sexual harassment. Some employees felt that they had nowhere to turn as their harasser was their supervisor and therefore had a position of power. Others admitted that the harassment caused lasting damage to their mental health.
Although harassment and retaliation are both illegal, they still happen in workplaces around the country. An employment law attorney may be able to help victims of sexual harassment in the workplace seek justice.