A study published by international specialist insurer Hiscox indicates that 35 percent of employees across the U.S. feel they’ve been subject to harassment in the workplace. Half of that group said the harassment they experienced was due to their sex or gender. Researchers putting together the 2018 Workplace Harassment Study surveyed 500 full-time employee adults in the U.S.
The study made use of an invitation via email and then an online survey. Among those respondents who said they had experienced harassment at work, 73 percent said the perpetrator of the harassment was in a position senior to theirs, and 78 percent said the harasser was male. Also present in the data were instances of harassment by women against men and same-sex harassment. In some cases, the harasser was not an employee of the company but was a customer or vendor.
Any of these situations might be sufficient to support a harassment claim against the company. Businesses may be liable for failing to provide their employees with appropriate protection at work. Of those who responded and said they’d been harassed, 40 percent said they did not report the harassment to the police or to management. The top reason for this failure to report, cited by 53 percent of these respondents, was the fear that reporting it might create a hostile work environment. Of the people surveyed who said they’d been harassed and reported it, 37 percent said they thought the incident was not handled properly.
People who feel they’ve been victims of workplace harassment might want to consult an attorney. An attorney with experience in employment law might be able to help identify parties who may have liability or negotiate a settlement with the employer.