Taubman Kimelman & Soroka, LLP
Free Consultation
Foreign Language Services Available: Spanish Korean Creole Croatian 우리는 한국어 서비스가 있습니다
Se Habla Español En Español

Survey: Gender, seniority are major factors in workplace harassment

The specialty insurer Hiscox has just released its 2018 workplace harassment study, and it found that 35 percent of U.S. employees have experienced workplace harassment. That number rises to 41 percent among women. Of those who said they had experienced harassment, half said it was because of their gender. Moreover, 78 percent said they had been harassed by a male, and 73 percent said their harasser had been someone in a senior position.

The study surveyed 500 U.S. adults who were employed full time. Half were men and half were women. Here are some of the findings:

Harassment is sometimes committed by women against men and by members of the same sex. Moreover, some harassment was perpetrated by third parties such as clients and vendors. In all of these situations, employers can potentially be held responsible unless they take effective steps to address the harassment.

Gender-based or sexual harassment is the most common form of harassment reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to the agency. It accounts for 50 percent of all cases reported, followed by racial or ethnic harassment (17 percent), harassment based on religion (15 percent) and harassment based on age or sexual orientation (13 percent each). Last year, employers paid out $46.3 million in sexual harassment settlements with the EEOC -- and that doesn't count private litigation or arbitration awards.

Unfortunately, the Hiscox survey indicates that workplace harassment continues to go unreported a great deal of the time. Of those respondents who said they had been harassed, 40 percent never reported it to their employers or to authorities. The top reason cited was fear that reporting the harassment would itself create a hostile work environment. In other words, they withheld their reports out of fear of retaliation.

Of those who did report their harassment, 37 percent said that they didn't believe the incident was properly handled by their employers. That figure is 49 percent among women. Improper handling might include anything from failure to believe the report or taking no effective action to actively retaliating or allowing retaliation.

Millennials were the generation most likely to say they had been harassed (46 percent). They were also the most likely to have made a report after being harassed (76 percent).

Eighty-five percent of respondents believed that social movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp make it more likely people will report harassment. And, 51 percent said their companies had instituted new workplace harassment policies in the past 12 months, which could reflect a response to those movements.

Harassment claims were equally likely at small companies with fewer than 200 employees and at larger firms with 1,000 or more employees.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Now Is The Time To Take Action Contact us for a free consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

30 Vesey Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Phone: 212-227-8140
Fax: 212-385-0662
Map & Directions