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Employers, employees disagree on impact of #MeToo movement

The #MeToo movement has had a huge impact on Hollywood and on other high-profile work environments. However, its impact on other industries in New York and across America is harder to measure.

For example, a Brunswick Group survey of 1,000 U.S. working adults found that 70 percent of employers and workers in leadership roles "strongly" believe that their workplace is free from sexual harassment. However, less than half of non-management employees have a similarly positive view of the situation. In fact, 25 percent of employees say they have witnessed or heard of incidents of harassment within the last 12 months.

The Brunswick survey also found that more than half of respondents think that sexual harassment and/or assault can occur anywhere in corporate America. Worse, one-third of respondents think these types of incidents occur frequently. Despite this, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 75 percent of executives are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their company's anti-harassment policies. In contrast, a survey by the job review site FairyGodBoss found that 60 percent of women think their employer hasn't made any policy changes in response to the #MeToo movement. Further, the survey found that 63 percent of women don't report harassment because they fear they won't be believed or they will be retaliated against.

Federal and state laws protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees who suffer from such treatment may wish to discuss their situation with an attorney familiar with employee rights. After learning the details of the case, the attorney may suggest filing a complaint with a state agency or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Source: Bloomberg, "Has #MeToo Changed Anything? Bosses Say Yes, Workers Disagree", Rebecca Greenfield, Oct. 26, 2018

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