The national nonprofit organization United for Respect conducted an online survey in Spring of 2019, aimed at learning more about experiences of sexual harassment among employees who either were working or had previously worked at Walmart.
This survey came on the heels of several pregnancy discrimination lawsuits against Walmart in past years, arguing that Walmart refused to accommodate pregnant women during the terms of their pregnancy.
40% of respondents reported at least one form of sexual harassment in the past year. The top four types of harassment experienced by respondents included:
- Offensive remarks on appearance (38%)
- Offensive stories or jokes (36%)
- Insulted people of your gender (35%)
- Uncomfortable/unwanted touch (28%)
Who is Harassing Employees at Walmart?
According to the results released by United for Respect, 56% of survey respondents reported that the person who harassed them was a coworker, 43% reported that the perpetrator was a customer, and 34% reported that it was a supervisor.
According to one respondent:
Management has taken ‘the customer is always right’ mantra and let customers harass associates. I can ask for management to come up front while the customer is harassing an associate, but most of the time, we’re ignored, and the customer gets away with it and repeats the behavior every time they return to the store. Our front end has high turnover, but no one seems to want to ask why.
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Employee Experience with Reporting Harassment at Walmart
Among the 40% of Walmart employees who chose to report experiences of harassment to a supervisor, 42% reported no action was taken, while 21% were not notified about the outcome of their report. 20% were encouraged to drop the issue by the person they reported the harassment to, and only 14% of respondents reported that any adverse action was taken against their harasser, such as the person being moved to a different location.
Among those who did not make a complaint, the top four reasons were:
- I did not trust complaint and resolution process (26%)
- I feared losing my job or hurting my career (18%)
- I did not think I would be believed (16%)
- I wanted to forget about it and move on (15%)