No Sexual Harassment Complaints are not a True Indication of a Harassment Free Work Environment.
Even in the midst of the recent awareness generated by the #MeToo Movement, employees still seem to face an undue amount of pressure to overlook workplace harassment. Only 30% of employees who experience harassment take any sort of formal action – whether internal to the company or external – according to a study published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States (EEOC).
The EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace conducted a 18-month study on taking formal action in harassment cases. During this time, the Task Force interviewed over 30 witnesses who provided public comments on “Transforming #MeToo Into Harassment-Free Workplaces” alongside a program of formal academic study. LEARN MORE
The findings of the Task Force were as follows.
- Workplace harassment is a persistent problem that goes unreported a majority of the time. 75% of surveyed individuals who experienced harassment never reported the incident, even informally, to anyone else.
- Sexual harassment is a liability for businesses, even at this low rate of reporting. The EEOC itself recovered $164.5 million from businesses in cases involving harassment.
- The EEOC considers the problem a top down issue that must be fixed from upper management first. Training is an essential aspect of changing company culture in this direction, as are the methods of training employed to render that change.
Finally, the EEOC report delivers specific tools and recommendations for designing corporate sexual harassment training policies and training curricula as well as viable investigation procedures and methods of accountability.