The #Me Too Movement and #Times UP group has raised $21 million dollars in 60 days. This money will be used for legal assistance and other assistance for woman who can’t afford to file a claim of Sexual Harassment. As we have said before many women don’t file claims because they can’t afford to lose their job or don’t know what to do or who to call. These funds will help them it these efforts.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – EEOC (the federal agency that handles sexual harassment complaints) conducted a study in 2015 about Workplace Harassment. This is some of the things they found.
- Out of 90,000 charges received by EEOC in FY 2015, one third (almost 30,000) were allegation of workplace harassment. Workplace harassment includes sexual harassment and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, race, disability, age, ethnic/national origin, color and religion.
- They also found three out of four individuals who experienced harassment never even talked to a supervisor, manager or union representative about the harassing conduct mostly because the fear no one will believe and take the issue seriously.
- The EEOC alone recovered $164.5 million for workers alleging harassment. That is money that could have been spent on increased wages, investment into growing businesses, etc. As a result of these costs every employer should be training their employees and promoting a workplace of respect.
The Me Too Movement has also attracted attention of the legislatures. Here are two examples:
- CT is considering changing their law which requires employers of 50 or more employees to train their supervisors. They are looking into changing it to employers of 15 employees and mandating training employees and supervisors.
- New York is looking into changing the existing law that puts a high burden on the employee to establish a sexual harassment claim is severe or pervasive enough to be actionable. Senate Bill S7193 would amend the law to make sexual harassment and sex discrimination unlawful regardless of the severity or pervasiveness of the conduct as long as the perpetrator was motivated in whole or part by the employee’s gender. (taken from article written for SHRM by Lisa Nagele Piazza)
See Tips on Sexual Harassment Training for more information on this topic– The tips highlight training and what polices should say and what companies and agencies should do to create a harassment free workplace that treats everyone with respect.
Contact Randi Frank if you’re not sure your policy or training is up to date.
Randi can give you a quote for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and Policy Development.