You have a right to work in an environment where you do not experience harassment. However, research shows that you may face a high chance of retaliation or termination if you decide to speak out about experiencing sexual harassment in your place of business.
According to Mercury News, many instances of sexual harassment in business never become part of a formal report. However, the large majority of employees who do report this unfair treatment wind up facing additional hardships in the aftermath.
A study involving more than 46,000 sexual harassment claims lodged by U.S. employees between 2012 and 2016 revealed that 64% of those who reported such harassment lost their jobs within one year of doing so. While this number is alarming, so, too, is the fact that 68% of those who filed these claims wound up facing retaliation in the workplace after making their allegations.
In California, specifically, you also face a heightened risk of facing retaliation or termination after reporting when someone at work sexually harasses you. There were almost 9,000 allegations of workplace sexual harassment filed within the state between 2012 and 2016. Within that time, 70% of those who made claims faced workplace retaliation. More than 50% of those who reported instances of sexual harassment also lost their jobs within a year.
Research also shows that women are far more likely than men to not only make sexual harassment claims but face hardships as a result. Currently, women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force. However, they file more than 80% of sexual harassment claims. Men, meanwhile, make up 53% of the American workforce, but they only make 19% of sexual harassment allegations.
Options for victims
Workplace sexual harassment is never acceptable, and neither is facing termination or retaliation for reporting it. You may have options available to you as far as legal recourse. You should also note that the study of outcomes faced by those who reported sexual harassment at work took place before the #metoo movement, which has helped many victims of workplace sexual harassment feel empowered to speak out about their experiences.