Sexual Harassment cases appear to be more in the US then the UK

22/11: Sexual Harassment cases appear to be more in the US then the UK – but this could also be due to the different media laws that apply in each country, according to a report from the BBC. The story says that there are huge differences between UK and US media law – which may explain why more high profile Americans are being publicly accused of Sexual Harassment, including Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK.

In the UK, the publisher - for example, the newspaper or website - has to prove their story is right. This means, before publishing, the media needs a water-tight case. To accuse someone of sexual misconduct or female harassment, they would normally need proof (such as a recording) or a witness prepared to testify in court. This means it is easier for an accused to sue for libel.

In the US, the burden is on the plaintiff - the person alleging that he or she has been defamed - to prove the statement is false. So - compared to the UK - the burden of proof is flipped. Americans are less likely to sue, so US media are more likely to break the story.

Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

 Apart from the emotional cost of female harassment, there is also an economic cost. Harassment at the workplace can lead to absenteeism, increased turnover and lower job performance and productivity. Staff turnover can become an issue. Employers may lose talented employees due to gender harassment or a hostile work environment – not only the victims, but also witnesses or observers, who frequently will leave a workplace in response to their experiences.

Employers may also incur costs due to sick leave, health benefits, monetary damage awards to victims, and legal expenses.

Victims of Sexual Harassment may not be able to function at their normal productivity level. If perpetrators are successful in blocking victims from advancing within a company, the company loses out because the best candidate for a given position may not have the opportunity to fill it. Additionally, dealing with incidents and their impacts can take time away from managers’ time to complete their other tasks.

Find out more about Harassment at the Workplace