Sexual harassment victims often face termination, retaliation

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | employee rights |

Falling victim to sexual harassment in a California place of employment is bad enough. Yet, research shows that many sexual harassment claimants also face termination or retaliation after making their experiences public.

According to Mercury News, a study of about 46,000 sexual harassment allegations filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2012 and 2016 shows how common termination and retaliation are after a sexual harassment claim.

Termination after a sexual harassment claim

Research shows that 64% of claimants who filed formal sexual harassment claims wound up having their employers fire them within one year. In California, specifically, employees made about 9,000 such claims between 2012 and 2016. More than half of them experienced termination after making their sexual harassment claims.

However, it is important to note that the study involved allegations made before the onset of the #metoo movement. The movement encouraged many victims of workplace sexual harassment to speak out. It is not yet clear how the movement might affect sexual harassment, termination and retaliation rates moving forward.

Retaliation after a sexual harassment claim

The number of sexual harassment claimants who experience retaliation after making their claims is even higher than the number who face termination. About 68% of all who file workplace sexual harassment claims have their employers take some type of retaliatory action against them. Retaliatory tactics might include demoting an employee or transferring him or her to a less favorable duty or schedule. Other types of harassment or discrimination may also fall under the “retaliation” umbrella.

The study also showed that female employees continue to make more sexual harassment allegations than their male colleagues, even though men make up more of the U.S. workforce.