The vast majority of sex harassment cases we see litigated do not have legal merit and that tends to make management labor attorneys wary of harassment claims … at least those that are litigated. It almost seems as if the individuals with invalid claims are the ones that sue, and those that have legitimate claims may keep silent. Like most employers, it concerns me that employees still experience harassment and that they may not report it. A recent poll suggests that many employees are in fact not reporting concerns.
A recent Huffington Post article discusses the results of their poll…
Thirteen percent of respondents to recent HuffPost/YouGov poll reported having been sexually harassed by a boss or another superior, and 19 percent have been harassed by a co-worker other than a boss or superior.
Of those who said they’d experienced sexual harassment, a full 70 percent said they never reported it.
I am concerned that so many respondents said that they did not report the incident, if indeed they thought that the experience might arise to harassment. That’s a bad report after years of No Harassment programs.
The article noted further:
The HuffPost poll found that one in five women said they’d been harassed by a boss, and one in four said they had been harassed by another coworker. And although women were more likely than men to say that they had been victims of one or both types of sexual harassment, men also reported being sexually harassed — 6 percent said they were harassed by a boss and 14 percent by a coworker.
In addition, 21 percent of respondents to the poll said that they had witnessed someone else being sexually harassed at work. Among those who had, only 33 percent said that they had reported it.
The moral of the story is that as long as we deal with humans, we still have work to prevent and to swiftly and effectively respond to harassment, and not just based on sex.