“Going forward, I will ensure that we use these additional funds judiciously to enhance the agency’s work — especially as to harassment prevention,” said EEOC Chairperson Victoria Lipnic.1
How Will The EEOC Use the $16 Million?The $16 million increase for the EEOC’s budge came as a pleasant surprise to officials, who plan to use the new funds in several different ways, including:
- Assist the EEOC to more quickly and diligently file sexual harassment complaints and educational campaigns.
- In the past, the average wait time to have a complaint reviewed took up to 295 days, according to a 2017 USA Today report.
- This marks the first budget increase for the EEOC in more than eight years, which had resulted layoffs and hiring freezes.
- In 2017, there were nearly 7,000 cases filed through the EEOC alleging sexual harassment. Altogether, there were nearly 12,500 sex-based workplace charges reported to the EEOC in 2017.
- The influx of funds is expected to help the backlog of cases through additional new hires.
- The EEOC also plans to urge workplaces to conduct surveys and workshops for mid-level managers and supervisors on the dangers of sexual harassment.
What Else Have We Learned From The #MeToo & #TimesUp Movement?Well, for starters, it has shined a light on the ugly secrets that have been hiding in plain sight in many workplaces. The following are some facts, figures, and interesting bits of information that have surfaced as a result of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements:2
- Almost half of the women in the workplace say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.
- We’ve also learned that since 2010 employers have paid $699 million to workers, who claimed they were sexually harassed using the EEOC’s pre-litigation process, according to a 2016 EEOC report.
- What that EEOC report doesn’t account for are the indirect costs, like time missed from work, low productivity, and high turnover.
- Another byproduct of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have been a number of startups with women founders or co-founders that aim to create safe working places. Some of the startups include STOPit, tEQuitable, Bravely, and others.
“It’s thanks to all the news cycles,” said Neil Hooper, STOPit’s chief revenue officer. “People are awakening to the fact that you can get ahead of these issues before they become claims.”