EEOC Reports Uptick In Sexual Harassment Claims for 2018

On October 4, 2018, the EEOC announced preliminary sexual harassment data for FY 2018 (which ended September 30, 2018).  The end result — sexual harassment claims are on the rise.

According to the preliminary report,

  • The number of EEOC charges filed alleging sexual increased over 12% in 2018
  • The  EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits (41 of which included allegations of sexual harassment), this is a 50% increase from 2017.
  • The EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for victims of sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement (an increase from $47.5 million recovered in 2017).

While this news should come as no surprise for employers, it does emphasize the need for employers to take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of a sexual harassment charge by doing one (or more of the following):

  • Providing sexual harassment training to all employees on a regular basis
  • Providing training to managerial employees on how to handle (and properly investigate) a sexual harassment complaint
  • Promptly investigating any sexual harassment complaint received.
  • Implementing effective anti-harassment policies with several channels for reporting claims and a strong anti-retaliation provision;
  • Enforcing anti-harassment policies consistently.