- Fifteen percent of workers in a Workhuman survey said they have been sexually harassed at work. Of those, 39% said they do not trust their HR department, according to results released March 4. The survey included 2,613 U.S. workers.
- Of the 233 women in the survey who said they had been harassed, 47% reported the harassment, 71% of whom said their claims had been investigated. Of the 137 men in the survey who said they had been harassed, 66% said they reported the harassment, 88% of whom said their claims had been investigated.
- Most of women's harassers were men, and the same can be said for men's harassers. The non-binary respondents who said they had been sexually harassed reported an equal mix of male and female harassers.
HR departments rely on employee complaints to right workplace wrongs. When HR allows reports of sexual harassment or other workplace misconduct to go unanswered, they communicate tolerance of the alleged behavior and deplete employee trust, sources previously told HR Dive.
As the Workhuman report suggests, this is common. A former Wayfair worker filed suit against the company in January, alleging its HR department ignored her complaints of sexual harassment. Last year, HELP USA Inc. settled a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging it dismissed complaints of sexual harassment as "playful" behavior.
To combat such claims, HR can insist upon a standardized reporting procedure that requires action on its end. This way, HR can build trust through workplace investigations, InvestiPro CEO Dana Barbato said at a conference last year. A standardized process will call for active listening and accuracy, she said. It will also encourage those conducting the investigations to always seek resolution.