02.15.2011
Sexual Harassment Claims By Women Are Declining, But Sexual Harassment Claims By Men Are On The Rise

Relying on data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Daily Journal reports sexual harassment claims have generally declined over the last decade from 15,222 claims in 1999 to 11,717 claims in 2010 (a decline of approximately 23%).  However, in 2010, sexual harassment claims by men rose to an all-time high of approximately 16% of the sexual harassment claims filed.  The Daily Journal reports that observers attribute this trend generally to a challenging job market and a greater public awareness of workplace rights.  

Anecdotally, jurors have generally become more willing to find in favor of men asserting claims of sexual harassment than jurors were in years past. This applies both to claims of alleged male on male sexual harassment and to claims of alleged female on male sexual harassment.  

Employers should remain mindful of their obligations to thoroughly investigate reports of alleged harassment and to take reports of sexual harassment made by male employees as seriously as reports of sexual harassment made by female employees.  An employer failing to treat reports of alleged sexual harassment made by a male employees as seriously as reports of alleged sexual harassment made by a female employee could lead to an additional allegation that the employer discriminates against male employees in the way the employer responds to reports of sexual harassment by male employees, regardless of whether the alleged harassment is male on male sexual harassment or female on male sexual harassment.

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