EEOC: Harassment Claim Numbers Up

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released data showing an increase in harassment claim numbers this year. Barbara E. Hoey and Jennie Woltz of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP outline that the report shows:

  • Sexual harassment charges with the EEOC increased by more than 12% from last year. This is the first time in a decade that the EEOC had an increase in annual sexual harassment complaints from the year prior.
  • Sexual harassment lawsuits filed by the EEOC’s attorneys – 41 in 2018 – increased by 50% from the previous year.
  • Reasonable cause findings in sexual harassment cases increased from 970 to nearly 1,200, an increase of over 23%.
  • Successful conciliation proceedings (a formalized mediation process run by the EEOC) jumped from 348 to nearly 500, a 43% increase.
  • Monetary awards recovered for the victims of sexual harassment rose to $70 million, an increase of over 22% from last year’s recovery.
  • The public’s interest in the EEOC’s sexual harassment enforcement efforts also appears to have increased: the EEOC reported that visits to its sexual harassment website page more than doubled compared to last year.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP reports that employers should expect this trend to continue, and has outlined several steps organizations should take to avoid “becoming an EEOC statistic”.

These include clarifying harassment policies, supporting managers, and providing employees with anti-harassment training.

For the full list of data released by the EEOC, please click here.

The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article in JD Supra on October 12, 2018, written by Barbara E. Hoey and Jennie Woltz of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.


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