Black women in Florida and across the U.S. are more likely to be subjected to and report workplace sexual harassment than white women, according to a new study. The study was recently published in the journal Gender, Work and Organization.
Researchers analyzed sexual harassment complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 1997 and 2016. They found that overall sexual harassment complaints by female workers fell by around 40% over the 20-year period, but the decrease varied significantly among different races. For example, sexual harassment complaints by white women dropped from 16,000 in 1997 to 9,600 in 2016, which represents a 70% decrease. However, complaints from black women dropped only 38% over the same period of time. In addition, the study found that black women were 3.4 times more likely to report sexual harassment than white women in 2016, which is up from 1.7 times more likely in 1997.
The authors of the study believe that their findings indicate that black women are experiencing more workplace sexual harassment than white women. They believe this is because men think black women are less likely to report sexual harassment than white women and target them as a result. Meanwhile, the study also found that sexual harassment complaints shoot up when unemployment rates increase. This is likely because men feel threatened by unstable job markets and try to assert dominance in the workplace, leading to more incidents of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment can happen to men or women and be perpetrated by members of the opposite sex or the same sex. Workers who have experienced sexual harassment might seek Boca Raton, Florida, workplace racial discrimination legal assistance from a law firm. An attorney may be able to review the case and help file a claim with the EEOC or a state agency on the victim's behalf.