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Overview of sexual harassment in a retail setting

| May 3, 2021 | Employment Discrimination, Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment and workplace discrimination are recurring issues in the 21st century in Hawaii and across the country. There are some occupations in which workers face matters like sexual harassment with more frequency than others. For example, the retail workplace is one area in which workers find themselves facing sexual harassment at a more significant rate than some other professions.

Sexual harassment defined

Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a form of workplace sexual discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 grants a victim of sexual harassment the right to sue for damages sustained because of that type of misconduct.

Reasons retail workplaces are more prone to sexual harassment of workers

There are several reasons why workers in a retail setting tend to more frequently become victims of sexual harassment. A key reason why this reality exists is that retail employees often to earn lower wages, and employees who earn lower wages tend to be more frequently victimized in the workplace by sexual predators and sexual harassers.

Retail workers have other types of vulnerabilities that also enhance the risk of sexual harassment. These include such matters as retail employees being at the mercy of direct managers of supervisors regarding the hours scheduled to work. In many cases, these workers’ very incomes depend directly on the whims of an immediate supervisor.

Rate of sexual harassment complaints from the retail sector

Over 13% of complaints made to the EEOC come from retail workers. The retail industry is second only to the hospitality and food service industry when it comes to complaints to the EEOC.

A victim of sexual harassment in a retail setting is wise to consult with an experienced lawyer to ascertain legal rights. An attorney in Hawaii typically schedules an initial consultation at no cost.