Last year I talked about how the new era of sexual harassment claims was coming. The open question was: Would the number of claims actually increase?
The answer to that is now known: Yes.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released its preliminary data regarding workplace harassment today. And it’s findings shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been paying attention.
Among the notable pieces of data:
- Charges filed with the EEOC alleging sexual harassment increased by more than 12 percent from FY 2017.
- The EEOC recovered nearly $70M for victims of sexual harassment through administrative enforcement and litigation, up from $47.5M in FY2017.
- Reasonable cause findings in harassment claims increased to nearly 1200, up from 900 in FY 2017.
- And public interest is skyrocketing: The EEOC’s website traffic to its sexual harassment page more than doubled in the last year.
In Connecticut, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities hasn’t yet released their statistics on their website. In years past, it’s been released in the fall — so stay tuned for that. But I anticipate hearing much more from the CHRO this month.
The CHRO is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a whole host of programs including one on Overcoming Barriers in Employment (I’ll be speaking at that one — details soon) and a #MeToo and LGBT Panel Discussion as well.
Interest in sexual harassment cases and actual cases show no sign of slowing down. If anything, I would argue that public consciousness and awareness of these issues are nearing all-time highs.
Employers should continue to review their policies and procedures in this area and take another look at the training they are providing.