Has the #MeToo Movement Led to Changes in Employers’ Sexual Harassment Policies?


Posted by: Chris

The #MeToo movement launched last year after allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood started to make headlines. The movement inspired countless victims to come forward and share their own stories of sexual harassment and assault, and many believed it would lead to serious change in workplaces across the country. But, has the #MeToo movement actually led to changes in how employers handle sexual harassment?

XpertHR surveyed 500 Human Resources (HR) professionals from small, medium, and large-sized employers located across the U.S. The majority of HR professionals that participated in the survey agreed that sexual harassment has taken on a new importance in 2018 thanks to the #MeToo movement. However, some of them are not taking the necessary steps to address this issue. 

Sexual Harassment Policies in the Workplace

Experts have advised companies to update their sexual harassment policies to ensure employee expectations are clearly outlined. However, many companies do not plan on making any changes over the next year. Over one-quarter of companies surveyed admitted that they would not update their sexual harassment policy in 2018, and another 35% said they were unsure of whether or not their policy would be updated. This shows that even though companies understand the importance of preventing sexual harassment, many of them are not putting in the work to keep their workplace safe.

Sexual Harassment Training in the Workplace

Another issue that survey participants were asked about was sexual harassment training. Experts believe that traditional sexual harassment training reinforces negative stereotypes about women and is ineffective in preventing this inappropriate conduct. These experts suggest that employers update their training to include bystander intervention training, which teaches employees to intervene and report sexual harassment.

Unfortunately, the survey conducted by XpertHR suggests that many employers are not taking this advice. Only 18% of companies surveyed said they are implementing bystander training this year. Furthermore, only 30% of companies surveyed said they were confident they were offering sexual harassment training in any form to their employees. This number is shockingly low and could indicate that the #MeToo movement has not led to major changes in most workplaces.

If you have been sexually harassed at work, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our sexual harassment attorneys hold your employer accountable for violating your workplace rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.