Have you heard of the #MeToo movement? It started last year as celebrities, public figures and everyday hard-working Americans decided to take a stand against sexual harassment and abuse. This movement has taken the media world by storm as TV stations, online channels and publications have been printing outing after outing. However, what effect has this movement had on the working world?
Has the #MeToo Movement Changed the Legal World?
Politicians, Hollywood big wigs and corporate CEOs have all felt the sting of the #MeToo movement. Women and men all over the country have decided enough is enough, and they are telling their stories. From rape allegations to tales of positions being used to demand sexual favors, victims are finally telling their stories, but what effects are these stories having?
Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not seen an uptick in complaints, litigation or charges filed. However, the EEOC has reported an increase in prelitigation demand letters, which could result in EEOC charges being filed later. In addition, law firms all across the nation are seeing clients coming into their offices to talk about preventative measures.
As the #MeToo movement continues, it is also exposing the flaws in our current system that guards employees against sexual harassment. The EEOC estimates that only one in four sexual harassment victims comes forward to report abuse under the current system, but that may soon change. Back in 2015, the EEOC started a Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. This committee launched studies to discover the flaws present in the current system so the EEOC can make new guidelines. Those guidelines are expected to be released soon.
To learn more about the EEOC’s new sexual harassment guidelines, check out this New Jersey Law Journal report by Kirsten Scheurer Branigan and Keefe Law Firm’s very own Jessica Stein Allen. Our law firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers in New Jersey, so keep following our attorneys for more info on your rights.