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How common is sexual harassment in the workplace?

Employees in Iowa and elsewhere expect a certain treatment in the workplace. This does not mean there is an expectation of special treatment or biases in the work environment; however, it does mean that employees presume that they will be treated properly and according to state and federal laws. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Some employees get mistreated, and this mistreatment is based on their gender. Harassment in the workplace is not only uncomfortable, it is damaging and against the law.

How common is sexual harassment in the workplace? According to current data based on a poll that surveyed over 4,900 individuals across the U.S., the rate of sexual harassment at work is not pretty. The results of the poll were broken down by various demographics, which include age, gender, political party affiliation and income bracket. However, the results discover that sexual harassment is a far too common reality for employees regardless of where they work and how much they make.

Based on this polling, one in four employees confirm that they have witnessed a co-worker being sexually harassed. Provided that 23 percent of respondents claimed that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment, these results are not surprising. This means that roughly one in four individuals experience unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other sexual conduct in the workplace. This conduct is a violation of a person's civil rights and could result in the filing of a legal action.

When it comes to the victim of sexual harassment, 30 percent of women states that they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Although less common, roughly 15 percent of men claim that they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. And when it comes to taking these events seriously, 25 percent of women polled stated that they thought male victims were taken more seriously than their female counterparts. Additionally, 40 percent stated that they were unsure if victims received equal treatment and 37 percent of men polled stated that when victims are females, they receive more respect and support.

Although the experiences and perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace vary from each gender, the reality is that this illegal conduct occurs in the workplace. Victims of sexual harassment should take the time to understand their rights and taken action to protect them.

Source: Bustle.com, "How Common Is Sexual Harassment At Work? Almost 1 in 3 Women Have Experienced It, According to A New Poll," Mia Mercado, April 27, 2017

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