The results of an international study indicate that sexual harassment is prevalent in the legal profession. The survey, which was an effort of the International Bar Association, included responses from nearly 7,000 individuals. Both attorneys and non-attorneys were asked about bullying and sexual harassment in their workplaces. Just over 36% of the surveyed women said they’d been victimized by sexual harassment in workplaces. Employers in Florida are required by law to provide a safe environment for their workers, and harassing behavior on the part of superiors, co-workers, vendors or customers may give rise to actionable legal claims.
Additionally, almost 50% of women and around 33% of men say they’ve experienced bullying at work. Those who worked in legal jobs for the government were the most likely to say they’d been harassed at work, with 52.5% of women and 18.2% of men saying they’d experienced workplace sexual harassment in government jobs. People who worked at private practice law firms reported lower but still alarming levels of harassment. Nearly one-third of women working at law firms and 6.7% of men said they’d been sexually harassed at work.
The most common kinds of sexual harassment in legal jobs were sexist comments, sexually suggestive or sexual comments, inappropriate looks and inappropriate physical contact, in that order. Less common types of sexual harassment included sexual propositions, sexual assault and quid pro quo harassment.
People who have been victims of workplace sexual harassment might have claims for damages. With sexual harassment legal assistance, a victim could gather evidence to build a case for trial. An attorney might also be able to negotiate a settlement with the employer without the client having to appear in court.