Recent numbers released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) show that in 2018, while the overall number of complaints received is down 9.3% from 2017, complaints about sexual harassment rose 13.6% over the previous year. The EEOC says that traffic to its website more than doubled in October 2017.
According to the EEOC, while sexual harassment charges have increased, they are far from being the most reported. The most frequent charge filed with the organization is that of retaliation after reporting. Data shows that the #MeToo movement has raised women’s expectations and willingness to report harassment, however, it is unclear what is happening to the women after the charges are filed.
The legal fight against harassment received momentum when Time’s Up, an organization dedicated to safe and equal workplaces for women, and the National Women’s Law Center partnered. In January, the two groups introduced a defense fund to assist low-income women with legal consultations and fees. The EEOC has filed 41 harassment lawsuits over the last year, a near 50% increase over the year before.
Additionally, victim resource hotlines such as Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s National Sexual Assault hotline and The Center For Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling And Education’s crisis line, have seen an increase in reporting activity. Safe Horizon, a nonprofit operated domestic violence, rape and sexual assault hotline saw a 52% call volume increase between October 2017 and October 2018.
Carney Shegerian, the founder of Los Angeles-based employee rights law firm Shegerian & Associates, has weighed in on the news.
“The numbers coming from the EEOC are encouraging,” Shegerian says. “Women should no longer feel ashamed or embarrassed to report harassment.”
About Shegerian & Associates:
Shegerian & Associates has won clients over $300 million in employment-based disputes and maintains a 98% success rate. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and New York.
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