Industries with Most Sexual Harassment Claims | Barrett & Farahany

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Five Industries with the Most Sexual Harassment Claims

Five Industries with the Most Sexual Harassment Claims

Not surprisingly, some industries and jobs see a higher number of sexual harassment claims. While one may immediately think of jobs like the military, law enforcement, or other male-dominated workplaces, according to recent reports by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the following are the five industries with the most annual claims for sexual harassment. According to EEOC data, about 30% of all complaints brought before the commission are based on sex or gender discrimination.


Vox reports that data from the EEOC shows about 14% of claims were brought by members of the hospitality industry. This includes food service, hotels, and other service industry jobs. While there are perhaps a number of complex reasons for this statistic, it likely has something to do with sheer numbers. It is a big industry, there are a lot of people working in these jobs, and although sexual harassment claims can be made by women and men alike, 74.4% of claims in 2014 were filed by women.

Hospitality is still a female-dominated industry, meaning there is just a statistically higher probability of sexual harassment claims in this industry. Of course, these jobs are also more likely to involve late nights, alcohol, and other factors that may increase the likelihood of inappropriate relationships forming in the workplace.


Retail jobs made up about 13.44% of the claims. Much like hospitality jobs, this field often requires odd shifts, late hours, and younger, less experienced workers and supervisors. These things tend to result in poor decisions and less accountability.


A largely male-dominated industry, manufacturing involves shift work, late nights, and women working side-by-side with male counterparts. Manufacturing accounted for 11.72% of the claims filed with EEOC.


An ever-growing industry that has fairly equal representation between men and women, healthcare ranks fourth on the EEOC’s list of industries for sexual harassment claims. It is difficult to know exactly why so many healthcare workers claim discrimination and harassment each year, but it may again have something to do with the close proximity in which people work, the late or variable shifts, or the high-stress atmosphere. These things can lead people to develop unhealthy workplace behaviors that can go unchecked or unnoticed by management.

Administrative Support

A blanket term for secretarial, office workers, and other general clerical workers, this industry makes up a significant percentage of all American office jobs.  Employees who directly support professionals (e.g. secretaries, assistants, receptionists, etc.) are often the subject of harassment and discrimination by superiors. Many times, discrimination comes in the form of quid pro quo (or “this for that”) types of arrangements, whereby a person in a position of authority makes it clear that the job or pay increases are “conditioned” upon improper sexual favors or silence.

Are You Suffering From Workplace Discrimination or Harassment?

If you or someone you know is being sexually harassed or discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or identity, gender, or any other federally protected status, you should contact a Birmingham employment rights attorney right away. Federal law protects workers from this type of behavior, and you may even have a right to be compensated for your lost income if you are fired or denied a promotion for these reasons. Contact Us to learn more today.

Kira Fonteneau
Kira Fonteneau

Partner and Managing Lead Attorney of the Alabama Trial Practice Group at Barrett & Farahany, is a dedicated advocate for employees. With a passion for employment law, she strives to empower workers and challenge the notion that employers can act with impunity. Kira's personal experiences fuel her empathy and drive for justice. With a background as a public defender and extensive knowledge of discrimination cases from representing employers, she brings a well-rounded perspective to her practice. Recognized for her outstanding work, Kira has received numerous awards and serves on various legal boards and associations.

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