A new Marketplace-Edison Research poll finds 27-percent of women and 14-percent of men say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
Gender Equality Expert Dr. Cortney Baker said she's surprised it's that low, because it's been under-reported for so long.
Now, organizations are going to have to be ready to handle more sexual harassment complaints, so there's not a backlash.
“It’s going to be a lot more than lip service and buying an off-the shelf manual to address sexual harassment. It’s got to be a living, breathing incorporated into your company culture to make an effective change,” said Baker.
She said it starts with leadership and holding the accused accountable (responsible with appropriate sanctions) and complaint doesn't fall on deaf ears.
Experts predict as the #MeToo movement continues, the number of sexual harassment complaints in the workplace will increase significantly.
Baker said a culture of zero, or no, tolerance policy actually works against you. It's much better to have levels of infractions.
“I need to feel comfortable coming to you so this behavior can stop, but I don’t want this person to get fired, then you have something you can work with,” said Baker.
She said in the gig economy, more people are working freelance or contractor work, which isn’t as protected as employees.
To view and download complete study: https://bit.ly/2tnUTPN