While one month (April) is set aside for National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, — discrimination against women based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy at work remains a clear and present danger every month of the year.
A previous EEOC report from 2016 reveals that workplace harassment largely goes unreported, with statistics revealing 90 percent of victims do not take formal action or formally pursue their complaints. What is most alarming is that these types of charges were only two years following the high-profile #MeToo movement.
From 2018 to 2021, the EEOC documented almost 99,000 charges of alleged harassment, with more than 27,000 of those incidents involving sexual harassment. That year and each consecutive year saw an increase from the previous twelve months. Most alarming was the data that revealed more than 35 percent of documented harassment incidents.
To say that women file disproportionate charges would be an understatement. A total of 78.2 percent of sexual harassment claims were filed by women from 2018 to 2021. Out of the 98,000-plus in total harassment charges, women filed more than 62 percent of them.
Females who filed sexual harassment and race discrimination from 2018 to 2021 saw over 71 percent designate Black/African American as their race. Out of the nearly 800 sexual harassment combined with national origin discrimination charges, 37.6 percent were Hispanic, and almost 16 percent were of Mexican national origin.
Perhaps the most prominent combination of charges is sexual harassment and subsequent retaliation against accusers. Concurrently, they accounted for more than 43 percent of claims between 2018 and 2021.
Some cite “boys being boys.” Others claim “hard habits to break.” Nonetheless, the continuing growth of harassment complaints should concern employers nationwide.