Employees have a right to a Washington work environment that is free from sexual harassment. They also should not have to worry about losing their jobs or facing adverse treatment for reporting wrongdoing that takes place where they work. Yet, many American employees who do report sexual harassment wind up facing termination or retaliation after they do so.
Per Mercury News, a study of sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission revealed that 99.8% of those who fall victim to workplace sexual harassment never make formal reports about it. The remaining claimants who do make formal complaints often face unfavorable circumstances after making their allegations.
Sexual harassment reports and termination
The study of about 46,000 sexual harassment complaints filed within a four-year span showed that 64% of those who made such claims lost their jobs. Furthermore, the 64% who lost their jobs after reporting workplace sexual harassment lost their positions within one year of making their reports.
Sexual harassment reports and retaliation
The majority of sexual harassment victims who make formal claims wind up having their employers fire them. Yet, even more of them face some type of workplace retaliation. Almost 70%, or 68%, of sexual harassment claimants, faced retaliation to some degree. Retaliation may look like a demotion, a denial of a promotion or a transfer to a less-favorable work environment or schedule. It may also manifest as an unjustified negative performance review or a reduction in benefits or wages, among other examples.
Of the sexual harassment claimants who did file formal reports, about 23% of them walked away with some sort of monetary award after doing so.