Your business could end up in court for a host of reasons, from a breach of contract claim to a dispute involving one of your competitors. In some instances, business owners head to court due to accusations involving current or former staff members. For example, an employee could file suit over allegations of sexual harassment.
Unfortunately, some businesses face severe repercussions due to sexual harassment claims, even if the accusations are completely baseless. It is imperative to take a close look at this issue and review strategies to safeguard your interests.
Data on sexual harassment claims
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that they received more than 5,500 sexual harassment charges during fiscal year 2021. In fiscal year 2018, the agency received more than 7,600 sexual harassment charges.
Out of all the harassment charges filed with the EEOC between fiscal years 2018 and 2021, sexual harassment claims represented 27.7% of all charges. During this period, women filed 78.2% of the sexual harassment charges.
The impact of sexual harassment charges
The EEOC states that they recovered $299.8 million due to sexual harassment claims from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2021. In addition to significant financial penalties, there are many other ways your business could suffer if a staff member (or a group of employees) takes legal action over allegations of sexual harassment. For example, your firm could sustain irreparable damage to its reputation, shattering business partnerships, eroding your customer base and hurting sales.
If you are heading to court over sexual harassment accusations as a business owner, make sure you review the details surrounding the incident(s) carefully.