Survey seeks to determine how workers view sexual harassment

A survey from Hiscox aimed to find out more about how sexual harassment was viewed and dealt with by employees and companies alike. It found that more than 35 percent of respondents had been impacted by sexual harassment in some form. However, many cases in Tennessee and around the country were not reported. The most common reason for not reporting sexual harassment was a sense that doing so would result in a hostile workplace.

How sexual harassment is dealt with depends in part on the size of a company. Those with fewer than 200 employees were less likely to have updated their sexual harassment policies in the previous 12 months. They were also less likely to offer training to prevent harassment in the workplace. This is in spite of the fact that companies with fewer than 200 employees and those with more than 1,000 had similar numbers of harassment cases.

The survey found that perpetrators of harassment were more likely to be male and in positions of power. Millennials were more likely than older workers to both say that they were harassed and that their experiences had been reported to police. Of those surveyed, 85 percent said that movements like #MeToo or #TimesUp were likely to lead to more people talking about their experiences.

Treating an employee differently than others based on a person's gender or sex is generally against the law. Employees may wish to file a sexual harassment claim with their HR representative or with the EEOC. It may also be possible to speak with an attorney about filing a lawsuit. An attorney may be able to help an individual even if a case is settled privately or through arbitration. Compensation might be available for victims of workplace sexual harassment.

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