Sexual Harassment Claims in the US Workforce

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 8
Words: 2045
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: College

Sexual harassment refers to the manner directed to another individual that has the aim of creating a hostile, scary, or humiliating environment that interrupts his or her capability to function efficiently at the workplace (Kazt 2). In most cases, sexual harassment involves more than isolated cases. It usually takes into account the nature, circumstance, setting, duration and location of the occurrence, whether they are embarrassing or intimidating in contrast to simply unpleasant remarks as well as to the number, character and affiliations of the individuals involved (Kazt 3). This paper will therefore address cased of sexual harassment claims in the workplace.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, sexual harassment at the workplace is a violation of fundamental human rights that every employee, irrespective of age, gender or race, has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Thus, any form of harassment of members of staff allied with the organizations is strictly prohibited (Kazt 6). Sadly, incidences of sexual harassment are on the rise. For example, a recent poll carried out by Louis Harris and Associates involving about 780 employees revealed that about 30% of the female employees and approximately 6.9% of men reported incidences of sexual harassment at work. The study also revealed that men were the principal instigators of the crime. For example, over 99% of women interviewed reported men as the principal harasser. The study also captured information on same-sex harassment with over 40% of men being intimidated by other men. The outcome of the poll showed that only 39% of the victims reported the incident, a clear indication that the problem is much bigger than initially estimated since many sexual incidences go unreported (Kazt 1).

Incidences of sexual harassment are quite prevalent in the Military Service Academies and the Armed Forces in the United States. For example, the service academies reported about 40 sexual assaults between 2009 and 2010, a 64% rise compared to the previous period. However, the Department of Defense projects that over 90% of sexual harassment cases goes unreported. According to DOD estimates, over 500 midshipmen and cadets encounter cases of sexual harassment at their workplace. In general, 1.8% of men and 12.8% of women report cases of unwarranted sexual advances at the academies whereas 11.9% of men and 55.9% of women reported similar occurrences of the crime (Stalsburg 2).

Alarmingly, the DOD survey data revealed more cases of sexual harassment in the academies than in the Armed Forces. A related survey carried out in the Armed Forces showed that 5.8% of men and 33.8% of women encountered sexual harassment. These estimates are much higher than those recorded in the academies. The majority of victims of sexual harassment at the academies and Armed Forces are debased by their counterparts. For example, among the women who experienced sexual harassment at the US Military, US Naval and US Air Force, 93.6%, 89% and 90.7% respectively reported that the crime was committed by a colleague. Over 90% of them reported that male were the principal executor (Stalsburg 4). Within the Armed Forces, a mere 19% of sexual harassment incidents were reported while fewer men and women at the service academies were likely to report such cases- about 9.8% (Stalsburg 5).

There are numerous blockades that prevent victims of sexual harassment from making formal complaints. The victims- male and women in the Armed Forces and the service academies- mentioned similar reasons why they opted not to report their sexual harassment experiences. Most victims cited reasons such as embarrassment, reputation and gossip at workplace as reason why they chose not to make formal complaints (Stalsburg 5). Both the academics and the military have two options for reporting incidents of sexual harassment: restricted and unrestricted reporting. Restricted reports permit the victim of sexual harassment to benefit from medical services at the institution under the condition that they do not seek legal redress against the culprits. On the other hand, data on gender, age, rank and the nature of the crime is needed for the preparation of the report. Secrecy is thus not observed. As a matter of fact, submitting such reports anonymously is virtually impossible (Stalsburg 6).

Since reputation is a noble quality in the military profession, men and women employed in the military may jeopardize their military careers if they report sexual harassment experiences. Similarly, cadets, midshipmen and members at the service academies are cautious about their professions and know that reporting incidents of sexual harassment would have dire consequences on their character and status (Stalsburg 6). The majority of midshipmen and cadets point out that the military’s values of personal responsibility, ‘closed quarters’, and improved acquaintances in the academies make it certain that reporting incidents of sexual harassment are likely to disturb the victim who reported the incident. In addition, male characters such as dynamism and robustness prevent victims of sexual harassment from reporting these incidents (Stalsburg 6). As a result, most of the sexual harassment experiences in the service academy and the military are less likely to be reported because the servicemen and cadets in these institutions are expected to be tough and deal with any situation.

Sexual harassment claims in the workplace continue to draw plenty of attention recently. Although women are the major victims of the vice, an increasing number of men have reported harassment at work. This new development presents the latest challenges to managers in view of the fact that the types of harassment males come across are entirely different from those encountered by women. It is thus imperative for managers to re-examine their organization’s strategies and make them relevant to the current situation to make sure they alleviate risks related to any sexual harassment faced by male and women workers (Employee Relations 1).

There are numerous reasons put forward to explain why there has been a recent increase in the number of a male facing sexual harassment at the workplace. For example, the 2009 report by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) shows that over 15% of the 12,290 cases recorded were from male employees (Employee Relations 2). It is, however, not certain whether these statistics captured all cases of sexual harassment encountered by men at the workplace. Most probably, the number of claims reported to the EEOC is merely a tiny proportion of the concrete number of cases of sexual harassment encountered by males at the workplace. However, some people feel that the problem is not on the rise in the workplace, arguing that males are now at ease to bring out these problems. More importantly, its worth noting that many organizations do not have appropriate strategies to address male-female, male-male, and female-male or female-female sexual harassment encountered in the workstation (Employee Relations 3).

According to a number of experts, the recent economic depression has contributed to an escalating number of male sexual harassment claims. For instance, from late 2008 to early 2010, over 4.3 million American men lost their employment compared to about 2.2 million women over the same period (Employee Relations 4). Previously, male workers opted to resign from their occupation and search for new one if they encountered sexual harassment at work. However, the current economic environment has compelled them to seek legal redress when they experience sexual harassment rather than resign due to their financial obligations (Employee Relations 5).

As noted early, many organizations lack necessary mechanism to address sexual harassment at workplace. It is the responsibility of employers to provide their workers with a secure working environment, devoid of any form of harassment. There are several policies that can be adopted by employers to mitigate this problem. For example, sexual harassment strategies must be reevaluated constantly to counter the dangers encountered by the organizations. Majority of the current strategies only address sexual harassment faced by women. This policies should be detailed and appropriated defined to help convey the message that all types of sexual harassment are forbidden. Organizations should consider strengthening limitations on horseplay and other indecent conducts at place of work. Members of staff must recognize the line between friendly jokes and offensive manners, as well as the severe consequences if the rules are ignored (Employee Relations 6). Managers must also train their workers on issues associated to male sexual harassment in view of the fact that scores of workers have a hard time comprehending the nature of behaviors that are considered inappropriate. Training will enable employees to be conscious of their behaviors and more so, be able to identify and report incidents of sexual harassment taking place in the workplace (Employee Relations 6).

The significance of training employees on matters pertaining to sexual harassment at workplace is reinforced by the fact that many organizations spend a lot of resources on harassment claims. In the absence of concrete evidence that workers have been educated about the organization’s harassment policy, the employer stands a little chance of producing an affirmative argument against harassment claims. For example according to the 2010 report by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of all employers who faced legal cases filed by their employees on sexual harassment, half of them lost the legal battle and forced to pay for damages amounting to about $98.4 million (Alliance 4). Therefore, creating a justifiable position to counter claims of sexual harassment involves much more than putting in place a strategy against harassing behaviors. It demands that workers know what harassment is and what actions to take in case they encounter it at workplace. In addition, organizations must ensure that the management staff at all echelons understands what constitute harassment and how to mitigate the problem in the workplace (Alliance 5).

Undoubtedly, a safe working environment promotes social harmony and cohesion among male and female employees. However, incidents of sexual harassment persist in the workplace and continue to rise at an alarming rate. It is thus imperative that employers adopt sound strategies to mitigate sexual harassment and create an enabling working environment in the workplace for all employees. In addition, it is important that the military and service academies educate cadets and midshipmen on how to implement policies on sexual harassment. Those caught engaging in sexual harassment should face legal action and be dismissed from the military to send a clear warning that sexual harassment is not tolerated at workplace.

Output=Male*-0.039+Female*0.127+Av.Fem Age*0.7+Av.Male Age*0.7

State that the suit was filed Male Female Av. Female-Age Av. Male-Age Output
Minnesota 1 8 17 22 28.277
Indiana 1 3 20 22 29.742
Mississippi 1 9 18 24 30.504
Alkansas 5 4 17 28 31.813
North Carolina 1 9 20 24 31.904
Iowa 1 5 19 26 32.096
Michigan 2 6 19 26 32.184
Georgia 2 4 18 28 32.63
Illinois 4 5 24 24 34.079
New Jersey 2 5 23 25 34.157
New Mexico 2 7 22 26 34.411
Maryland 1 3 26 24 35.342
New York 1 9 21 28 35.404
Maine 2 8 24 26 35.938
Kansas 1 6 22 29 36.423
Massachussetts 1 7 26 25 36.55
Idaho 3 3 26 27 37.364
Alabana 3 4 23 30 37.491
Arizona 1 5 24 29 37.696
Missouri 2 6 25 28 37.784
Louisiana 4 7 29 24 37.833
Corolado 2 6 22 32 38.484
Kentuky 3 5 27 28 39.018
Montana 1 7 26 29 39.35
New Hamphire 1 5 26 30 39.796
District of Columbia 3 7 25 31 39.972
Nevada 3 9 24 32 40.226
Nebraska 2 8 27 31 41.538
Florida 1 8 25 33 41.577
california 1 3 26 34 42.342
Variables Entered/Removed
Model Variables Entered Variables Removed Method
1 Av. Male-Age, Female, Male, Av. Female-Agea . Enter
a. All requested variables entered.
Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate
1 1.000a 1.000 1.000 .000000
a. Predictors: (Constant), Av. Male-Age, Female, Male, Av. Female-Age
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 405.286 4 101.321 . .a
Residual .000 25 .000
Total 405.286 29
a. Predictors: (Constant), Av. Male-Age, Female, Male, Av. Female-Age
b. Dependent Variable: Output
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 4.765E-15 .000 .000 1.000
Male -.039 .000 -.012 -8274855.425 .000
Female .127 .000 .066 4.757E7 .000
Av. Female-Age .700 .000 .619 4.205E8 .000
Av. Male-Age .700 .000 .604 4.130E8 .000
a. Dependent Variable: Output

Works Cited

Alliance. “Harassment Statistics the Latest EEOC Statistics. “Training and Consulting Inc.Inc. N.d. Web.

Employee Relations. “Sexual Harassment against Men in the Workplace.” I – Sight. 2010.Web.

Kazt, Nikki. Sexual Harassment Statistics in the Workplace. 2011. Web.

Stalsburg, Brittany L. “Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual harassment.” Service Women’s Action Network. 2011. Web.