Your line of work is a layer of reality. Right now, things might seem calm on the surface, but there are changes rippling through that world; dangers are looming on the horizon. Soon your assumptions about how things are done will be outdated. These changes and problems are not immediately apparent. Being able to see through to them before they become too large would bring you great power.
Robert Greene, The 50th Law
How many times you watched a TV news show where the crime victim’s neighbor exclaims “things like this just don’t happen in our neighborhood.” Believing that we live in a safe environment allows us to enjoy life. We have it so much better than our primitive ancestors who were constantly faced with danger — or so we think.
Complacency is dangerous – even in 2018. Businesses that fail to prevent sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination are being hit hard by the recent Me Too movement. Recent EEOC press releases bear this out.
EEOC sexual harassment lawsuits against businesses increased over 50% in 2018 versus 2017. Overall charges of sexual harassment by alleged victims increased by 12% year over year.
On November 15, 2018, the EEOC issued a report noting significant increases in its outreach efforts and enforcement actions to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination.
The EEOC noted:
- The launch of a nationwide online inquiry and appointment system as part of the EEOC’s Public Portal resulted in a 30 percent increase in inquiries and over 40,000 intake interviews.
- The EEOC’s outreach programs reached 398,650 individuals, providing them with information about employment discrimination and their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. To address persistent workplace harassment, the EEOC conducted more than 300 Respectful Workplaces trainings that reached over 9,800 employees and supervisors in the private, public and federal sectors.
- The EEOC secured approximately $505 million and other relief for over 67,860 victims of discrimination in the workplace.
The economy is thriving. Complacency often follows prosperity. Now is a good time to take stock of your business’ sexual harassment and discrimination policies, conduct a “self-audit” of your workplace, and schedule management and employee training heading in 2019, so that it too will be another good year.
Reality has its own power — you can turn your back on it, but it will find you in the end, and your inability to cope with it will be your ruin.
Robert Greene, The 50th Law
Art Bourque is an AV rated commercial and employment lawyer who has been practicing law in Phoenix, Arizona for 27 years. Art provides employment law training to help businesses operate efficiently and avoid mistakes; he is also an experienced litigator. Art can be found at www.bourquelaw.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 602.559.9550, linkedin, or trail running with his dog, Eli.