Gallup poll shows changing attitude toward harassment

A plurality of people in Georgia and throughout the country believe that sexual harassment is a problem in the workplace. However, men are less likely to believe that it is a problem today compared to 2017 according to a February 2019 Gallup poll. Nationally, 62 percent of all respondents said that it was a major problem, but when broken down by gender, women were more likely than men to have that opinion.

Of those who responded to the poll, 70 percent of women said it was a major problem while 53 percent of men said the same thing. In October 2017, 73 percent of women said that sexual harassment at work was a major problem compared to 66 percent of men. Furthermore, 45 percent of men said that people were too sensitive to sexual harassment at work compared to 33 percent of women in the February 2019 poll.

In 2017, 33 percent men and 28 percent of women said that people were too sensitive to the issue. However, a majority of both men and women believed that people weren't sensitive enough in both the 2017 and 2019 polls. It is also worth mentioning that higher percentages of men and women believe that it is a major issue and not taking seriously enough compared to 1998. That is when Gallup started polling individuals about the issue.

If harassment creates a hostile working environment, it may be possible to take legal action against an employer. In some cases, hostile working conditions can exist after a single action. For instance, threatening to physically harm a worker for failing to accept a sexual advance could qualify even if it only happens once.

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