In the past, workers in Kentucky and across the nation who were confronted with sexual harassment of any kind in the workplace were frequently reluctant to speak up for fear of not being believed or experiencing a negative impact at work. With the rise of complaints and the #MeToo movement on social media sparking greater attention to the problem, more women are deciding they will speak out when they are mistreated in this way. Simultaneously, this is creating a more welcoming environment to lawsuits for compensation. People who are sexually harassed should be aware of the improvement and how legal filings can be effective.
A recent study is showing that the #MeToo movement is helping women to fight back when they are sexually harassed and has lowered the amount of harassment from 2016 to 2018. Women have stated they are experiencing greater amounts of support and are encouraged to complain when harassed. That includes speaking directly to the alleged harassers. The study looked at surveys prior to the #MeToo movement and after it from when it started toward the end of 2017. The movement is believed to have had a part in ensuring better conditions for workers.
In the study, there were more than 500 female participants. They were asked about being sexually harassed in 2016 and in 2018. They ranged in age from 25 to 45, worked full-time, and had an average of one decade of experience. 70% were Caucasian and functioned as midlevel workers. They were asked about various issues including being sexually coerced or facing other sex-based attention. There was nearly a 10% drop in solicitations for sex in the two-year period that was studied. Troublingly, there was a rise in gender-based harassment. Racial lines were always a concern. Between 2012 and 2016, 27% of sexual harassment complaints came from black women even though they comprised 7% of workers.
Despite improvements that are statistically clear and the greater freedom women are granted to complain about sexual harassment, the fact that there are still complaints illustrates that the problem has not gone away completely. When there is this level of misbehavior and inappropriateness, it is important for a worker to understand what steps to take to make it stop and to secure compensation. In some cases, it may be possible to file a legal claim. If there were comments, images, sexual innuendos, inappropriate touching or even the witnessing of another person being sexually harassed, it may be time to take the steps necessary to protect your interests.