So a few weeks back, I suggested that we were entering into a new era of sexual harassment cases and wondered out loud when the statistics would back up my observations.
We now have our first signs. Maybe.
In my exclusive continued look at the case statistics from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, we can see the first signs of an increase.
But as I’ll explain below, it’s difficult to know if this is a statistical anomaly.
As a percentage of overall claims, sex harassment employment claims are just 3 percent of the overall claims filed, up from 2.5 percent the prior year.
But here’s the issue: When you look back at prior fiscal years in 2014 and 2015, the number of sex harassment claims is still below those years.
In other words, is it a trend up? Or overall down? Indeed, the numbers from FY 2012 are comparable to FY 2017’s numbers. Except that as a percentage, there were more sex harassment claims made 5 years ago, then now (3.6% to 3.0).
What else do we see? Well, as expected with an overall drop in cases is an drop in claims of wrongful discharge, refusal to provide reasonable accommodations, terms and conditions, and even demotions.
Remaining constant were claims for failure to promote, termination of employment due to pregnancy, and aiding & abetting discrimination.
When you review the basis for claims filed, we see drops in claims for age (FY 2017 451 vs FY 2016 518), race (551 vs 616), sex (507 vs 532) and physical disability (445 vs 520).
Some other bases hold steady or even slightly increase: ancestry claims (200 vs 188) and mental disability claims (103 vs. 110).
For employers, watch the trends. Will sex harassment claims continue to increase? And will overall claims decline?
There’s more that we can glean from these numbers too. I’ll have more in an upcoming post.