Phillips & Associates

EEOC Releases Preliminary FY 2018 Sexual Harassment Data

New York City Attorneys Enforcing Your Workplace Rights

When you go to work, you expect to do your job and be treated with dignity. Unfortunately, sexual harassment does occur on the job. At Phillips & Associates, we understand how stressful workplace sexual harassment is. Victims often feel humiliated and degraded after suffering sexual harassment at the hands of managers, supervisors, customers, clients, and coworkers. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the preliminary sexual harassment data for 2018. If you were a victim of sexual harassment, you should consult the New York City sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We can help you consider your legal options.

What is the EEOC?

The EEOC is a federal agency tasked with fighting many different kinds of discrimination and harassment under multiple federal laws. Characteristics that are protected under laws enforced by the EEOC include sex, as well as color, race, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, and age if a claimant is at least 40. It is also illegal under those laws to retaliate against somebody because he or she complained about sexual harassment, filed a charge in connection with it, or participated in a sexual harassment investigation or lawsuit.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is the federal law prohibiting sexual harassment, is applicable to employers with at least 15 employees. Title VII prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of jobs, including hiring. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and it can consist of sexual advances, groping, touching, visuals, memes, derogatory comments, pranks, and jokes. These must be unwelcome to constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can also include comments based on sex that are not sexual. However, trivial or one-off incidents are not usually actionable.

Workplace sexual harassment claims have gained increasing public interest due to the #MeToo movement, which shed a light on how common this type of harassment is and how unacceptable it should be. The Acting Chair of the EEOC, Victoria A. Lipnic, commented in connection with the 2018 data that the EEOC continues to lead the way to try to reduce harassment and promote workplaces that are free of harassment. However, our attorneys recognize that much work remains to be done.

2018 Data

The preliminary data show that in the year 2018, the EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits. The majority, 41, were sexual harassment claims. This represented an over 50% increase in lawsuits challenging sexual harassment from 2017. The EEOC charges went up by 12% from 2017. The EEOC recovered almost $70 million for sexual harassment victims through litigation and administrative enforcement. This was $22.5 million more than in 2017.

The EEOC also used an innovative training program called Respectful Workplaces. This program teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote respect in the workplace. It was in high demand since being launched in October 2017. More than 9,000 employees and supervisors in the private, public, and federal sector workforces were involved in Respectful Workplaces trainings over the last fiscal year. Over 13,000 employees engaged in trainings to comply with anti-harassment laws. The Co-Chair of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum, explained that the task force has traveled the country and is at a transformative moment in history when the EEOC will be part of making history.

The EEOC realizes that more can be done in the future. Its acting chair noted that the EEOC would continue to strive to build workplaces where people can go to do their jobs and not face harassment.

Consult a Knowledgeable New York City Attorney to File a Charge With the EEOC

Sexual harassment can be damaging to workers, whether they are female or male. If you believe that someone in your workplace has violated federal sexual harassment laws, we can help you file a charge with the EEOC. Contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free appointment. Our attorneys handle employment litigation throughout New York City, as well as in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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