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Employer Alert: Sexual Harassment Complaints Up 400 Percent In One State

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

In Massachusetts, sexual harassment complaints are up 400 percent compared to 2017. The state's anti-discrimination agency is bracing for "an unprecedented year of investigations and requests for workplace training in the 'MeToo' era." Chris Cassidy "Workers' Sex-Harass Claims Skyrocketing" http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2018/02/workers_sex_harass_claims_skyrocketing (Feb. 19, 2018).


Commentary by Jack McCalmon, Esq.

It is not surprising that claims would jump with the publicity of the #MeToo and #TimesUpNow movements.

However, to meet the statute of limitations, aggrieved employees must file their charges within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place. This deadline is extended to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis. Many of the charges made against Weinstein and other celebrities were for past acts that the statutes of limitations would time bar today.

The recent surge of claims in states like Massachusetts, sparked by the Weinstein fallout and the social media movements, is strong evidence that employees are energized to bring charges in 2018. 

We have written about the “Weinstein Effect” and the impact it will have on employers. “The Weinstein Effect: Will Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Employers Jump In 2018?” (Jan. 22, 2018); “How Weinstein and The ‘Me Too’ Movement Can Transform Your Workplace” (Oct. 23, 2018); “When Sexual Harassment Goes Radioactive: The Harvey Weinstein Matter”  (Oct. 16, 2018).

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Unemployment Rate

3.7% in Nov 2018

Payroll Employment

+155,000(p) in Nov 2018

Average Hourly Earnings

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Source: Department of Labor

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