EEOC Reports Increase in Sexual Harassment Claims
This past year has been filled with disturbing reports of alleged sexual assault and sexual harassment by prominent figures in business, politics, and even the judiciary. Not surprisingly, the number of EEOC sexual harassment filings has increased. In data published in October, the EEOC reported, that in 2018, it filed 50% more lawsuits regarding harassment than it did in 2017. Additionally, the EEOC reported that charges alleging sexual harassment increased in 2018 by 12% when compared to 2017. Along with these statistics, the EEOC reported that it recovered nearly $70 million for victims of sexual harassment in 2018, compared to only $47.5 million in 2017.
In response to the great many reports of sexual harassment, State and local governments have enacted laws requiring comprehensive anti-harassment training, posting of informational posters, and specific language in personnel policies — all aimed at reducing incidents of sexual harassment and increasing awareness of the reporting and remediation alternatives (from internal complaints to contacting governmental agencies). It is likely that, at least in the near future, this all will result in a greater number of claims and perhaps greater difficulty resolving lawsuits and administrative charges.