States See Surge in #MeToo Complaints

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Some states are seeing an upsurge in sexual harassment complaints as a result of the #MeToo movement, but federal statistics are less conclusive.

some-states-see-rise-in-sexual-harassment-claimsThe Associated Press reported recently that Massachusetts and New York City have seen so many complaints that they’re hiring additional investigative agents. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities reports that sexual harassment complaints this year are coming in at almost twice the number as last year.

Idaho and Maine also report having trouble keeping up with the level of complaints. Florida, however, reports it has seen no large uptick.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces the nation’s anti-discrimination and harassment protections, earlier this year said there had been no increase in sexual harassment complaints following the birth of the #MeToo movement.

But Commissioner Chai Feldblum (D) told Bloomberg Law last week that her unofficial tally shows a 3-percent increase in sexual harassment filings this year, though this has not been confirmed by an agency announcement.

Through the first three quarters of this year, 57,000 people have filed complaints with the EEOC on various issues, down from 64,000 in the same period a year earlier. Feldblum attributed this plunge to a new filing system that automatically weeds out inappropriate claims (i.e., those that are not covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

Feldblum, whose term has expired but who has been renominated by President Trump, said of the #MeToo movement, “Shame on us if we don’t use this opportunity to make structural changes to stop harassment on all bases.”

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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