Despite Awareness, Training and Strict Laws, Workplace Sexual Harassment Is Rampant

Dana Wilkie By Dana Wilkie October 17, 2017
Despite Awareness, Training and Strict Laws, Workplace Sexual Harassment Is Rampant

A new poll demonstrates the vast extent to which women encounter inappropriate sexual conduct from men across U.S. society. It indicates that about 33 million U.S. women have been sexually harassed, and 14 million sexually abused, in work-related incidents. And nearly all of them report that their male harassers were never punished.

We've rounded up the latest news on sexual harassment at work. Here are SHRM Online resources and news articles from other trusted media outlets.


Unwanted Sexual Advances Not Just a Hollywood, Weinstein Story, Poll Finds

More than half of U.S. women have experienced unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances from men, three in 10 have put up with unwanted advances from male co-workers and a quarter have endured them from men who had influence over their work situation.

(ABC News)


#MeToo Floods Social Media with Stories of Sexual Harassment and Abuse

A huge number of sexual assault and harassment survivors are sharing their stories online. An untold number of women posted "me too" and revealed their deeply intimate experiences of abuse. Their stories flooded social media and painted a picture of just how many people endure sexual abuse and harassment every day.

(CBS News)


When HR Gets It Wrong: At Fox, Uber and Mizzou, Where Was Human Resources?

Today's HR professionals are perhaps better trained and more skilled than ever. Yet when it comes to addressing sexual harassment and other misbehavior at work, HR faces many obstacles in its investigations: cronyism; reluctance to confront higher-ups; fear of retaliation; cultures that condone or ignore misbehavior; inadequate employee training; and lack of diversity in the C-suite or in the HR department. All of these issues can render an HR department powerless and ineffectual, make it appear in collusion with executives, or leave it completely unaware of misdeeds at its own company.

(SHRM Online)


Uber Engineer's Claims Could Offer Lesson on How Not to Run an HR Department

After a manager propositions female subordinates for sex, the company's HR department lets the guy off the hook because "he's a high-performer." This must be one of those textbook examples—probably from the 1950s—on how to never, ever run an HR department, right? No. This is an allegation leveled at Uber, the ride-hailing app company, in a blog post this year by a former employee—allegations that rocked Silicon Valley and led Uber's CEO to resign and to launch an investigation with the help of a former U.S. attorney general. 

(SHRM Online)


Why Roger Ailes' Reputed Bad Behavior Went Unchecked

People in powerful positions are still being accused of subjecting workers to inappropriate—sometimes illegal—sexual advances. "Much of the [harassment] training done over the last 30 years has not worked as a prevention tool—it's been too focused on simply avoiding legal liability," two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission members wrote in a June 2016 report.

(SHRM Online)


Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint/Investigation Procedure

SHRM provides members with templates for creating a sexual harassment policy, including the objective of the policy, the scope, definitions of sexual harassment, examples of prohibited conduct, and the potential consequences for those who violate the policy.

(SHRM Policies)


Sexual Harassment Training for Employees

This sample presentation is intended for presentation to employees. It is designed to be presented by an individual who is knowledgeable in sexual harassment and the employer's own policy on sexual harassment. This is a sample presentation that must be customized to include and match the employer's own policies and practices. 

(SHRM Presentations)

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.