It has been over a year since the #MeToo movement gained momentum. Researchers conducted a survey on positive results after women and men have come forward and spoke out against workplace sexual harassment. However, they were surprised that with all the good the movement has generated, there has also been a considerable unforeseen backlash.
About Sexual Harassment
In 2017, close to 13,000 Americans filed sexual harassment complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are different forms of sexual harassment. Sometimes, this creates a hostile work environment when there is severe and ongoing sexually offensive behavior. There are different liability rules. However, federal, state and municipal laws clearly prohibit harassment based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
#MeToo Movement Backlash
Researchers noted the biggest surprise of the #MeToo movement has been the unconscious backlash. This is to avoid being accused of sexual harassment. Even though 74% of women are more comfortable speaking out against harassment now and 77% of men are more careful of inappropriate behavior, 10% of both men and women said they thought they would be less willing than previously to hire attractive women. Also, 22% of men and 44% of women report social exclusions like after-work drinks.
As the study expanded, the backlash continued. Now, 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women. Plus, 21% of men didn’t want to hire women in positions with one-on-one interactions. This includes jobs involving travel.
Many think that the #MeToo movement may have caused female employment a step back. This is due to men purposely avoiding women and not hiring qualified candidates because of the movement.
Sexual Harassment Attorney
Therefore, if you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney as soon as possible. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance and help build a case to end the harassment.