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Home>UPDATE: Sexual harassment in the workplace isn't just perpetrated by co-workers or the boss

UPDATE: Sexual harassment in the workplace isn't just perpetrated by co-workers or the boss

UPDATE: Sexual harassment in the workplace isn't just perpetrated by co-workers or the boss

09/25/2017

By Kari Paul, MarketWatch

Experts say some workers still believe this kind of behavior is part of the job

When people think of sexual harassment, often they think of high-profile cases between employees and their colleagues or superiors. But a new study shows the effects of harassment of employees by clients and customers can be just as damaging.

Employees who had been harassed by clients or customers scored 2.05 points higher than those who had not on the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), a self-report mood questionnaire that generates a diagnosis and scale of depression. Effects of being harassed by a colleague, supervisor, or subordinate were even more acute: they scored 2.45 points higher compared to employees who had experienced sexual harassment by clients or customers.

Harassment from clients can also be more common, especially in service-industry jobs. Of 7,603 Danish employees who participated in the survey, published Monday in the open access journal "BMC Public Health," 2.4% were exposed to sexual harassment by clients or customers and 1% were harassed by colleagues.

In some professions such as care work or social work, many workers may believe dealing with sexual harassment by clients or customers is "part of the job," said Dr. Ida Elisabeth Huitfeldt Madsen, a senior researcher at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark and author on the report..

Don't miss: 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' tackled workplace sexual harassment and the gender wage gap (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whats-changed-for-working-women-since-the-mary-tyler-moore-show-2017-01-26)

The study comes as high profile sexual harassment allegations continue .Uber's former chief executive officer Travis Kalanick resigned in June after an investigation into the company's corporate culture. Last February, a former engineer at Uber wrote a blog post about sexual harassment and other workplace problems she experienced at the company. (At the time, Kalanick said in a statement that her description was "abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.")

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