The True Cost of Workplace Sexual Harassment

The True Cost of Workplace Sexual Harassment Work Shield Blog

In our recent blog, we elaborated on the different types of workplace harassment. It is increasingly important that we define and better understand the different variables involved. As defined by the EEOC, harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy), national origin, older age (beginning at age 40), disability, or genetic information (including family medical history. 

The tangible costs of harassment and discrimination in the workplace are high and can include possible legal and civil penalties, lawsuits, and fines. One of the most important topics that is often forgotten about is the hidden “lifetime” costs of harassment to the individual on the receiving end.    

We are proud of the efforts that Work Shield is performing in helping to prevent harassment that can result in lifetime costs for survivors ranging from $600 to $1.3 million, most of which is seemingly unknown to the employees at the time the harassment is taking/took place. Some of the tangible impacts noted earlier and in a recent study include $2.6 billion in lost productivity, or $1,053 on average per victim. $900 million in other costs, or $375 on average per victim. At an average weekly wage of $1,244 across the economy, each case of workplace sexual harassment represents approximately 4 working days of lost output.

Yet, the cost of harassment in the workplace is not just in dollars. It also comes in the form of a culture of turnover, mistrust, lower productivity and fear. A study shows “victims are often left without support, within their job or from clinicians, while navigating the fallout of these experiences. Few studies have tracked the impact of workplace abuse on long-term health, although evidence suggests that sexual harassment early in the career has long-term effects on depressive symptoms, which in turn can affect quality of life, relationships, and professional attainment.” With Work Shield, organizations use resources more effectively and have fewer losses with 10x ROI or more.

About Jared Pope

Jared is Founder and CEO of Work Shield, the only start-to-finish workplace harassment and discrimination reporting, investigation and resolution solution that protects employees, employers and cultures at the same time. Jared practiced law and ran a practice focused on human resources, ERISA, benefits and employment matters for over 15 years and is a knowledgeable resource on workplace culture and harassment and discrimination issues.

Connect with him on LinkedIn.


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