Statistics show that only a small number of those who experience work-related sexual harassment in New York or across the nation ever come forward and report it. Many workers neglect to call attention to what is happening to them because they are fearful of the possible consequences, and research shows that their concerns have merit.
According to Mercury News, the majority of victims who come forward and report experiencing workplace sexual harassment either lose their jobs or experience retaliation in the workplace after making their reports.
Sexual harassment and termination
Estimates suggest that 99.8% of workers who experience on-the-job sexual harassment never report the behavior. Yet, 64% of those who do make reports about their experiences wind up having their employers terminate their positions within a year of making their formal reports. The figure comes from a review of about 46,000 sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2012 and 2016.
Sexual harassment and retaliation
While a worker’s risk of facing termination after reporting sexual harassment in the workplace is high, so, too, is his or her chance of facing some type of retaliation afterward. Retaliation might come in the form of a less favorable schedule or demotion. It may, too, look like verbal harassment, physical harassment or threats. An alarming 68% of those who reported workplace sexual harassment said they experienced one or more types of retaliation after they did so.
There are laws in place that apply to the majority of U.S. employers and prevent them from taking adverse action against employees who report sexual harassment. Victims of this type of treatment have a right to call attention to it without fearing losing their positions or facing retaliation.