The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced preliminary FY 2018 sexual harassment data this week – highlighting its significant work this past fiscal year to address the pervasive problem of workplace harassment. What You Should Know: EEOC Leads the Way in Preventing Workplace Harassmentrecognizes key milestones of the agency to actively enforce the law, to educate and train workers and employers, and to share its expertise on new solutions to reduce harassing conduct in the workplace.
Combatting all forms of workplace harassment – whether based on sex, race, color, disability, age, national origin, or religion — remains a top priority of the EEOC. “I am so proud of the EEOC staff who stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement to make clear that workplace harassment is not only unlawful, it is simply not acceptable,” said Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “As the agency with expertise, as the enforcer of the law, and as an educator, the EEOC has continued to lead the way to achieve the goal of reducing the level of harassment and to promote harassment-free workplaces.”
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.
The EEOC’s innovative training program, “Respectful Workplaces,” which teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote and contribute to respect in the workplace, was in high demand since it was launched in October 2017. Over 9,000 employees and supervisors in the private, public and federal sector work forces participated in Respectful Workplaces trainings this past fiscal year. An additional 13,000 employees participated in EEOC’s anti-harassment compliance trainings.
“We have been traveling the country, spreading the word about what the EEOC is doing and the resources we have to offer,” said Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum, Co-Chair of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. “We are at a transformative moment in our history and the EEOC will be part of making that history.” Moving forward, the EEOC recognizes that more can and should be done. Acting Chair Lipnic noted further, “the EEOC will continue to be there, striving to make our workplaces productive places where we can all go, do our jobs, and be free from harassment.”