Report: At least 3,085 hospital employees filed sexual harassment claims between 1995 and 2016

At least 3,085 employees at general medical and surgical hospitals filed claims of sexual harassment with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between fiscal years 1995 and 2016, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation.

Here are six takeaways from the investigation.

1. According to EEOC data obtained by BuzzFeed News, 170,000 sexual harassment claims were filed during the 21-year period. Roughly 83 percent of the claims were filed by women, while 15 percent were filed by men. Two percent of individuals filing complaints did not specify a gender.

2. Here are the number of sexual harassment claims filed by employees in select areas of the healthcare industry, according to EEOC data, beginning with the most to least claims filed.

  1. General medical and surgical hospitals — 3,085
  2. Other miscellaneous ambulatory health care services — 1,911
  3. Nursing care facilities — 1,530
  4. Medical laboratories — 436
  5. Physician offices (excluding mental health specialists) — 382
  6. Home healthcare services — 314
  7. Direct health and medical insurance carriers — 254
  8. Offices of other miscellaneous healthcare practitioners — 140
  9. Specialty hospitals — 81
  10. Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals — 73
  11. Ambulance services — 51
  12. Other outpatient care centers — 50

3. By comparison, other industries in which a significant number of employees filed sexual harassment claims with the EEOC between 1995 and 2016 include: the full-service restaurant industry (10,057), the hotel industry (1,713) and the newspaper publishing industry (302).

4. The EEOC notes the claims it receives are often filed by individuals who previously tried other channels of reporting harassment. Many workplace complaints are filed internally or resolved without public documentation, according to the report.

5. Between 2010 and 2016, approximately 50 percent of harassment claims filed were later determined by the EEOC to have "no reasonable cause" following a review of evidence "obtained in the investigations."

6. The agency noted employee wages may also play a role in the the number of harassment claims filed. Individuals who said they were dependent on tips to make a living and rely on superiors for shift assignments identified as experiencing a disproportionate amount of sexual harassment from customers and superiors, the report states.  

To search sexual harassment claims by specific industry or to read the BuzzFeed News report in full, click here.

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