Armstrong & Associates Employment Law Firm

These environmental factors raise the risk of sexual harassment

No industry is completely immune to sexual harassment. Yet, research shows that certain elements make it more likely to occur in certain Texas work environments than in others. When sexual harassment happens in a particular work setting, it impacts everything from morale and productivity to tardiness and absenteeism. So, while eradicating sexual harassment from work settings benefits employees, doing so is also advantageous for employers.

Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, some risk factors that make sexual harassment more likely in a particular work setting are as follows.

Cultural and language differences

Research shows that sexual harassment is more common in professional settings where workers hail from varying backgrounds. When language barriers exist, or when employees come from different cultural backgrounds, they may be less aware of what does and constitute sexual harassment in the eyes of the law.

Homogenous workforces

Interestingly, while multicultural workforces may elevate the chances of sexual harassment occurring in an employment setting, the same holds true in homogenous work settings. In environments where there are only one or two minorities, those minorities may be more vulnerable to pressure from others, which may make sexual harassment more likely to occur.

Reliance on customer satisfaction

Sexual harassment also tends to occur more in work settings where employees deliver service with a smile” or otherwise depend on tips. When a server or other worker’s livelihood depends on a customer’s satisfaction, that worker may be less likely to report sexual harassment due to fears about losing money.

Many people who experience workplace sexual harassment never make formal reports about the treatment. However, failing to call attention to the problem only exacerbates the issue.


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