More than two thirds of employees who file a sexual harassment complaint get fired or are retaliated against by their employers, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity.
The study involved an analysis of more than 46,000 sexual harassment claims made between 2012 and 2016 – before the #MeToo movement took hold last year. The claims were registered with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices.
Researchers found that of the people who filed a sexual harassment claim against their employers, more than 64 percent lost their job within a year and 68 percent faced some type of employer retaliation.
Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, professor of sociology at Amherst and an author of the study, said that the vast majority of sexual harassment in the workplace claims – 99.8 percent – never resulted in legal battles, and less than a quarter of those who filed claims with the EEOC received a monetary reward. Those who did received, on average, received just shy of $25,000.
Women were primarily the ones who filed reports of sexual harassment – 81 percent compared to 19 percent of men.
Since the data collected predated the rise of the #MeToo movement, Tomaskovic-Devey said he’d be curious to see how the data has changed since awareness has been raised, and if those who speak out are “less likely to be associated with job loss and retaliation.”
Source: Bend Bulletin