Despite the #MeToo movement and the increased spotlight on sexual harassment, employees in California are still at risk on the job. The acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission noted that the federal agency deals with large numbers of sexual harassment complaints and can be nearly overwhelmed with the frequency of these issues. She noted that harassment continues to be a persistent, pervasive problem in many American workplaces, despite awareness-raising efforts and media exposure.
In a new survey by Y Combinator (YC) and Callisto, more than 20 percent of female startup founders said that they had been harassed. This lead YC to create a process by which entrepreneurs in California and throughout the country can report harassment. The survey targeted 125 female founders that had received funding from YC.
When an employee notices that they are being treated unfairly by their employer, they have the opportunity to take action by reporting the misconduct or filing a lawsuit. In some circumstances, however, a supervisor may try to retaliate against the employee for bringing the issue to light. Retaliation is against the law, but some employers still attempt it to punish the whistleblower employee.
According to a study by Hiscox, a specialty insurer, 35 percent of workers in California and across the U.S. believe they have experienced harassment in the workplace. Of those who said they'd experienced harassment, 50 percent thought it was because of their gender, 78 percent said the harasser was a man and 73 percent said the harasser was in a higher position. Hiscox surveyed 250 men and 250 women who were full-time employees.