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Jobs with Most Reported Sexual Harassment Cases, 2004-Present


sexual_harassment1Within the past 5 years, tens of thousands of clients have come to seeking attorneys in sexual harassment matters. According to statistics compiled within the last 5 years, the following jobs had the most reported sexual harassment cases:

Retail: 28%
Manufacturing: 16%
Government: 12%
Transportation: 9%
Professional (law, accounting, architecture, etc.): 9%
Education: 8%
Construction: 8%
High technology: 6%

Approximately 61% of these respondents reported their sexual harassment to their superiors. Federal whistleblower protections are meant to protect these people from retaliation. With these rules in place, why are almost 40% of employees not reporting sexual harassment?

For one, litigating a claim in federal court is intimidating. Federal Whistleblower cases are costly and complicated. The burden of losing a job often outweighs the small consolation of possible redemption years down the road.

Additionally, whistleblower protections may not have applied to a large portion of sexual harassment victims until recently. The recent Supreme Court case of Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, finally applied federal whistleblower laws to in-house employer investigations. Prior to this ruling, an employee could be retaliated against for answering an employer’s questions about sexual harassment in a private employer investigation. Lower courts stated that such investigations did not come under the ambit of federal protections, creating the absurd situation where employees reporting discrimination on their own initiative were protected, but employees reporting the same discrimination in the same words when their boss asked a question could be fired.

Such an obvious ruling should have come a lot sooner. How many sexual harassment cases flew under the radar while lower courts created and followed this absurd precedent?

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