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EEOC: Sexual Harassment Trends

Published:  October 25, 2018

Earlier this month, the EEOC published its Fiscal Year report for 2018. Many expected to see a significant uptick in sexual harassment cases filed at the EEOC after the emergence of high profile sexual harassment allegations in the media over the last year. As expected, the EEOC’s report indicated that the EEOC saw a significant uptick in sexual harassment complaints filed.

The number of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC rose by 12% from Fiscal Year 2017. Additionally, the EEOC filed 50% more sexual harassment lawsuits than in Fiscal Year 2017.

 Earlier this year, we at Royal, P.C. wrote that the Massachusetts state equivalent of the EEOC, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, saw a significant increase in sexual harassment complaints filed. At the time, the MCAD was reporting a substantial hike in the number of sexual harassment cases filed in the first month of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. However, the MCAD has yet to publish their end of year data.

It remains to be seen whether this trend will slow any time soon.  Some believe that this is a short spike in complaints due to the prominence of the #MeToo movement. Others believe that this increase actually reflects employees’ greater confidence reporting sexual harassment, which, although it has been a widespread and systemic problem, has rarely been reported. If this is true, this trend will continue for a prolonged period of time until sexual harassment is eradicated from workplace culture.

If you have any questions about sexual harassment or any other labor and employment law matters, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.

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