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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Addressing organizational climate can potentially reduce sexual harassment of female agricultural workers in California


Workplace sexual harassment (SH) has been highlighted as a key issue for female agricultural workers in the United States. This study investigated how workers' descriptive data (age, job experience, attitudes) and specific organizational variables (how work crews are structured) potentially facilitate SH in an agricultural setting. Harassment was reported by 30% of surveyed female viticulture workers in their current jobs. Harassed women tended to be younger, employed seasonally and working in crews where hostile sexist views were prevalent. Harassment affected worker productivity; harassed women and their male co-workers were less satisfied with their jobs and more likely to seek other employment. Efforts to address SH by restructuring at the level of the field crew may be ineffective. Instead, addressing workers' hostile sexist attitudes and the extent to which an organization tolerates SH appears to have the most promise for reducing SH in agricultural industries.

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