The headlines in Milwaukee news outlets revealed a pattern of misconduct in some of the most desirable workplaces in America: in politics, media, technology, Hollywood and more. But behind the #MeToo headlines were women and men in less elevated jobs and industries – stores, hospitals, universities, factories and others – where sexual harassment was just as rampant as it was in the places reporters were interested in.
The #MeToo movement has helped to start a change in America, according to data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC, which investigates allegations of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination, says in the year since #MeToo began, it received about 7,500 harassment complaints, up 12 percent over the previous year.
The federal agency also reported that visits to its sexual harassment webpage more than doubled a year ago when the allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced and #MeToo became an important topic in workplaces, homes and on the national political stage.
“The impact of the #MeToo movement is undeniable,” said Victoria Lipnic, acting chair of the EEOC.
The impact has been felt in the legal world as well, where Time’s Up and the National Women’s Law Center created a defense fund to provide attorney consultations to low-income women. They’ve raised more than $22 million and helped more than 3,500 women and men get legal assistance.
“It’s an incredible outpouring from people who have been inspired to share their stories and demand justice,” said Emily Martin, a vice president of the National Women’s Law Center.
If you demand justice in your workplace, you can speak to an employment law attorney experienced in aggressive litigation to stop harassment and retaliation.