Considering events highlighting sexual harassment in the workplace, several senators requested that the United State Department of Labor begin to collect data on how much sexual harassment claims are costing employers in the U.S. The Department responded that it could not undertake this type of data collection since it would be too complex and costly.
Although the Department is committed to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and understands the Senators’ concerns, it stated that there would be many steps involved to initiate that type of research. Additionally, the Department pointed the Senators to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey. The Senators responded with another request for the Department to reconsider and pointed out that statistics on crime victimization would not capture incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace that do not rise to the level of reported crimes.
Current Data on Sexual Harassment
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal commission that investigates charges of sexual harassment, would have information on the number of sexual harassment charges brought through the agency and any remedies that the company took to resolve the issue. However, that information would not include any claims of sexual harassment that were brought internally at a company. Additionally, employees can also bring claims of sexual harassment to the state agency that handles those claims.
Insight into the Cost of Sexual Harassment
While the Department of Labor does not focus on claims of sexual harassment, it could be beneficial for the Department to inquire with employers about the number of sexual harassment claims brought internally or through agencies. The dollar amount associated with the investigation and any remedial training or other steps the company took to address the problem also factors in the total, if it was determined that sexual harassment did occur. Often, when sexual harassment occurs, a company will require that certain employees, or possibly all employees, attend training. Although the law does not require that the sexual harasser is fired, this is also a potential solution to the problem. If a harasser is fired, he or she may be offered an exit package and there may be costs associated with filling the position with a new hire. In some circumstances, companies may separate the physical location of a harasser from a victim and there may be costs associated with that new situation.
Although the company may have taken steps that were requested by the alleged victim, the company may not have found that sexual harassment had occurred. Therefore, the Department would have to be very specific about the type of information it sought to collect. If economic information associated with sexual harassment claims was collected, the findings would be of great interest to the public.
Cherry Hill Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment at work can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or age. If you have experienced sexual harassment and have either complained at work or are considering making a complaint, contact a Cherry Hill sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. With an office conveniently located in Philadelphia, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including the state of New Jersey.