While high-profile sexual harassment complaints in New York City and Hollywood get most of the #MeToo headlines, they have sparked an increase in reports across the country.
How prevalent is workplace sexual harassment?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently reported the number of sexual harassment charges filed with the agency climbed 12 percent in the year following the emergence of the #MeToo movement, according to CNN.
In addition, the commission reported filing 41 lawsuits involving allegations of sexual harassment, an increase of 50 percent over the previous year.
“I am so proud of the EEOC staff who stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement to make clear that workplace harassment is not only unlawful, it is simply not acceptable,” acting chair Victoria Lipnic said in a statement.
The #MeToo movement first dominated the news in October 2017 when The New York Times and The New Yorker published allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape and assault, committed by powerful public figures.
With workplace sexual harassment in the news, the EEOC reported the number of hits on its relevant website page doubled in a year. A 2016 report stated that as many as 70 percent of people who are sexually harassed do not file a complaint with their employer, but it appears that that percentage may be shrinking.
While the focus has been on powerful public figures, the vast majority of cases occur in everyday workplaces. Common forms of harassment include jokes, inappropriate touching, making comments about the way someone is dressed and asking people about their sexual history.
An experienced lawyer is here to help
If you’ve been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in West Virginia, you know what a difficult position it can be to work in such an environment every day. You’re dealing with the pain of the harassment itself, as well as the pressure that stems from pursuing your complaint against a coworker. You may face repercussions from workers who are friends with the person who harassed you. If you are making a claim against a supervisor, you’re right to wonder if your case will have a bearing on your future with your employer, including pay raises and promotions.
Some employers may not take your claims seriously or fail to act on them in a meaningful manner. If you are not getting satisfaction with how your employer handles your complaint, you do have an alternative.
Contact the workplace sexual harassment lawyers at Klie Law Offices. They have experience handling delicate cases just like yours. They know all the legal options available to you, including ones your employer may not be sharing with you. Get the facts. Contact us.