It may be surprising to learn that the number of sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC has dropped by about 40% since 1997, but it’s true. However, it’s important to understand that this 40% drop in overall complaints does not tell the whole story.
Small vs. Large Companies
In the 1990s, many sexual harassment complaints were filed by women working in small companies. At one point, the EEOC was receiving as many as 200 sexual harassment complaints per month from women working for employers with 15-100 employees. But now, there are only about 60 complaints per month filed by people working for small employers. Although complaints from small companies have dropped by 70%, the number of complaints from larger companies have only dropped by 30%. This means sexual harassment could be more common in larger companies than smaller companies today.
Race of the Victim
The majority of the EEOC’s sexual harassment complaints--about 200 per month--were filed by white women in the 1990s. But now, white women only file about 60 complaints per month. However, the number of complaints per month filed by African American women has remained unchanged.
There hasn’t been a decline in complaints among Hispanic women, either. But, the EEOC did not start collecting data on Hispanic victims until 2008, so there is limited information available on these victims.
Age of the Victim
The EEOC data reveals that the number of complaints filed by women in their 20s and 30s has dropped over the last several decades. But, there was not a drop in complaints filed by women in their 40s and 50s. The average number of complaints filed by women in their 40s has remained consistent throughout the years, and the number of complaints filed by women in their 50s has actually increased.
Although the number of overall complaints has decreased significantly over the years, this does not mean that sexual harassment is no longer a problem. The complaints have dropped among certain groups of people, but have remained steady among others. For this reason, it’s safe to say that this problem is still pervasive in today’s society.
If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights through every step of the legal process. Please call us today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.