EEOC Data Shows Impact of #MeToo
Many Americans know that starting in towards the end of 2017, the #MeToo movement started to gain a lot of support from various agencies and coverage in the media. Starting with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, numerous high profile figures were accused, resigned, or were fired from there positions. By involving people from entertainment, politics, news, and sports, the #MeToo movement helped to empower victims of sexual harassment to come forward and report their harassers.
EEOC Chooses to Lead the Way
One agency that helped to encourage victims of workplace sexual harassment and misconduct was the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC helped to facilitate this by taking on a larger role as a leader, educator, and enforcer of charges involving sexual harassment and misconduct. In fact, the EEOC even changed its own policies in response to findings from the Harassment Task Force.
Recently, the EEOC released data to show just how much its efforts, in combination with the #MeToo movement, have paid off. Some of the key findings included:
- The EEOC filed 66 lawsuits challenging workplace harassment, 41 of which alleged sexual harassment. This is more than a 50 percent increase in suits challenging sexual harassment as compared to 2017;
- Charges alleging sexual harassment increased by 12 percent as compared to 2017;
- The EEOC conducted training and outreach for more than 115,000 individuals and employers;
- Nearly 500 charges were successfully conciliated or mediated, up from 348 last year.
What’s Next for Sexual Harassment Cases?
Numbers like these are definitely encouraging. Hopefully, as the negative stigma and treatment of people who allege sexual harassment decreases, more people will be willing to report those instances. As a plaintiff’s employment attorney who regularly advocates for victims of workplace sexual harassment and misconduct, I hope the day that my services will no longer be needed.
Until that day comes, I will continue to be a strong advocate. If you or someone you know believes they have been subjected to workplace sexual harassment or misconduct, contact me for a free initial consultation so that we can discuss your situation in more detail and what options you may have.