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One in five workers report being victims of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious and prevalent problem. Unwelcome advances and requests for sexual favors are illegal because they create a hostile, offensive or intimidating work environment. According to a recent CNBC survey, one-fifth of U.S. adults are victims of sexual harassment.

This statistic alone shows how severe the issue is across the country. Let us take a deeper look at this survey and what kinds of sexual harassment people experience at their jobs.

Disturbing numbers

Here is how many Americans experience sexual harassment by gender and age group:

  • Women: 27 percent.
  • Men: 10 percent.
  • 18- to 34-year-olds: 16 percent.
  • 50- to 64-year-olds: 25 percent.

Of the women who are victims of sexual misconduct at work, 25 percent are millennials, 36 percent are Generation X and 39 percent are baby boomers. These statistics show that sexual harassment is a pervasive problem.

Disgusting behavior

Sexual harassment at work takes two forms: hostile work environment and quid pro quo. Hostile work environment harassment occurs when there is unwelcome sexual conduct that is pervasive or severe. If someone feels like his or her workplace is abusive, it may be because of frequent or serious sexual harassment. 

Quid pro quo is different. This happens when a superior requires an employee to perform sexual favors in exchange for an employment decision. For example, a manager may threaten to write up an employee if he or she does not participate in a sexual act. Another potential situation is a boss offering a promotion to an employee in exchange for sexual intercourse. 

Taking action

Thankfully, more and more people are realizing that they have the power to combat sexual harassment at work. More victims are coming out against sexual harassers every day. Anyone who is the victim of sexual harassment may benefit from the advice of an attorney.


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