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Employees with increased risk of sexual harassment paid more

Generally speaking, employees who work in dangerous professions get paid more for placing their lives at risk. But what about people who are at risk of suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace--do they get paid more for working in a potentially hostile work environment?

According to a new study by Vanderbilt University published in the American Economic Review, the answer to that question is yes. Employees appear to get paid more when they are at risk of being subjected to inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

The study was based on claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). The researchers compared claims of sexual harassment by sex, age group and industry.

Other interesting results from the study found that:

  • Women were six times more likely to be sexually harassed than men
  • Male-dominated industries, such as mining and construction, were the worst places for women to work.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that many of these employees do not stand up for themselves and protect their rights. Because of the difficult economic climate, many people are clinging tightly to their jobs, even if they know that their employers are acting illegally.

Many people may worry that filing a sexual harassment claim could result in retaliation and further hostility. While this might be the case, this fact does not make such actions right or legal.

No Indiana employee should have to live with being sexually harassed on the job. Just because a worker may be paid more for working in an environment in which he or she is more likely to be sexually harassed does not mean that sexual harassment should be expected. Any form of sexual harassment is against the law and should be reported without delay.

Source: Life Inc. on Today, "Where harassment is higher, so are salaries," Linda Carroll, Nov. 30, 2011

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