Sexual Harassment is Surprisingly Common in the Manufacturing Industry
Illinois employees are protected from harassment and discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Illinois Human Rights Act, and other legislation. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be an issue in Illinois and throughout the United States. Harassment can come in many forms. Some workers are exposed to crude jokes and offensive remarks. Others are touched inappropriately without their consent while simply trying to do their jobs. Employees may also deal with managers, supervisors, or employers who attempt to gain sexual favors by offering work-related benefits.
Research shows that workers in the manufacturing industry are exposed to sexual harassment at an especially high rate. Both women and men who work in manufacturing may be victims of sexual harassment. If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual harassment while working in the manufacturing industry, read on to learn about how to address the situation.
Manufacturing Workers and Sexual Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) processed more than 85,000 sexual harassment complaints between 2005 and 2015. Just under 12 percent or about 10,000 of the sexual harassment reports came from the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, but about 30 percent of manufacturing workers are women. Unfortunately, some studies suggest that many women working in the manufacturing field are subject to verbal and physical sexual harassment. A study published by the American Association of University Women found that over 60 percent of women surveyed had been subjected to unwanted verbal advances and suggestive gestures. Disturbingly, an even greater number of women said that they had been victims of unwanted kissing or touching.
Although this study focused on female victims, men are also at risk of being sexually harassed at work. Research suggests that many men stay silent about workplace sexual harassment. Male victims may be uncomfortable filing a complaint due to fears of retaliation or ridicule. They may also worry that others will be less likely to believe them.
Sexual harassment can have a profound impact on mental health. Men who have been sexually harassed at work are much more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
What to Do If You Were a Victim of Sexual Harassment
Whatever your gender and profession, no one should tolerate sexual harassment. If you were sexually harassed at work, report the harassment in accordance with your company’s sexual harassment reporting policy. If nothing is done to rectify the situation or if you are retaliated against for making the report, it may be time to take legal action.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you were sexually harassed, contact our Wheaton sexual harassment attorneys for help. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.