When the #MeToo movement swept the country, many California residents may have learned just how prevalent sexual harassment is in the entertainment industry. However, the #MeToo movement has also revealed that sexual harassment is prevalent in other industries and workplaces as well. For example, a recent report found that about a quarter of nurses, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants experience sexual harassment.
About 6,200 clinicians across the country were surveyed as part of the study. The results showed that approximately 11 percent of nurses, NPs and PAs reported having experiences of some sort of sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, 14 percent also reported seeing sexual harassment. Ultimately, 20 percent of the participants reported that they experienced sexual harassment, witnessed sexual harassment or both.
Of the participants who experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the workplace, 90 percent said that the incident was upsetting in some way. About 30 percent of participants said that the incident was extremely upsetting, potentially resulting in emotional distress. In fact, 73 percent of the respondents said that the sexual harassment incidents interfered with their ability to do their jobs. About 15 percent said that the incident interfered with the job significantly.
When sexual harassment incidents prevent workers from excelling at their jobs, productivity and performance can suffer. Furthermore, the employees themselves may experience emotional distress, which can have a major impact on their ability to do their job. If an employee does report an incident of sexual harassment and the employer fails to investigate or otherwise rectify the situation, an employment law attorney could help the victim handle the complaint. If a resolution is still not found, the attorney may file an agency charge.