Sexual harassment and the wage gap

Sexual harassment and a gender-based wage gap are major concerns for women throughout Arizona and the rest of the U.S. Some researchers theorize that the wage gap and sexual harassment may be linked.

Statistically, women earn about 80 cents per dollar compared to men. Unfortunately, women are more likely than men to experience sexual harassment and hostile work environments. Serious harassment at work can lead to a drop in productivity, more days off work and less interest in a job. Supervisors who notice a drop in productivity may use this to justify passing over employees who are experiencing harassment for raises and promotions.

Many women may gravitate toward certain professions to avoid a male-dominated working environment. Furthermore, women may feel safer working around other women in professions that have traditionally attracted more female workers. This concept is known as occupational segregation.

Even in industries like finance, where women have made tremendous gains in leadership in the past several decades, women still statistically earn less than men. This may lead many female workers to feel that they are not equal. Some experts believe that this feeling of inequality will continue until the wage gap problem is resolved.

Workers who have experienced sexual harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination may benefit from consulting an attorney. A lawyer could help a client identify what qualifies as unlawful behavior at work. For example, sexual harassment may include more than unwanted sexual advances. Workers who have been the victims of lewd comments, rumors or jokes at work might have a case for sexual harassment.

An attorney could also help a client take appropriate steps to document and file their claims with the appropriate agencies. Workers in the U.S. generally report discrimination to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) before filing a lawsuit in federal court.

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