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Sexual Harassment Charges with EEOC Increased for First Time in Years


Acting EEOC Chair Lipnic believes that increase is a result of the #MeToo movement

One year after the Harvey Weinstein allegations that sparked the #MeToo movement, the EEOC announced preliminary sexual harassment data for its 2018 fiscal year.  Based on preliminary data, in FY 2018:

  • The EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits, including 41 that included allegations of sexual harassment. That reflects more than a 50 percent increase in suits challenging sexual harassment over fiscal year 2017.
  • In addition, charges filed with the EEOC alleging sexual harassment increased by more than 12 percent from fiscal year 2017.
  • Overall, the EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement in FY 2018, up from $47.5 million in FY 2017.
Victoria Lipnic, acting chair of EEOC, said that EEOC released the information this way in part because it had been receiving many requests for data in the lead-up to the Weinstein reporting anniversary.   Lipnic said “We were acting on it with every tool available to us – from outreach to cases filed.”  Lipnic said that she believes that the higher reporting figures are a result of the #MeToo movement. 

During the past fiscal year, over 9,000 employees and supervisors in the private, public and federal sectors participated in EEOC’s training program, “Respectful Workplace,” which teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote and contribute to respect in the workplace.  An additional 13,000 employees participated in EEOC's anti-harassment compliance trainings.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.