California and New York state are experiencing the so-called “Weinstein effect” on sexual harassment claims. After the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein started grabbing headlines last fall, the number of sexual harassment claims filed in California surged by over 86 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.
New York, meanwhile, has seen a 60 percent increase since the sexual misconduct scandal became the No. 1 most-talked about topic in the nation last October. Stories of ordinary women exposing powerful and influential men in various industries, including entertainment, politics, media and many other fields, have encouraged thousands of other women across California and New York to take action against their own harassers, gropers, predators, abusers, and grabbers.
“At first, experts remained skeptic about the #MeToo movement, arguing that it would not have a noticeable effect on workplaces in the nation; but the number of sexual harassment claims filed by victims across many states indicates the opposite,” says our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney from the JML Law. “The Weinstein effect is very much visible and obvious today, and it continues to ripple through the nation.”
Before the Harvey Weinstein scandal, harassment complaints had been declining for more than a decade across the nation. Evidently, the Weinstein effect has helped increase awareness, which, in turn, caused a substantial spike in complaints. It remains unclear whether the Weinstein effect is just a temporary phenomenon or it is going to linger for a long period of time.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has yet to report statistics on the number of sexual harassment complaints since the Weinstein scandal to see the whole picture, but statistics from California and New York are compelling indications that women in the United States are no longer afraid to speak up and take action against sexual misconduct in the workplace.
From January through March, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) received 939 complaints of sexual harassment, up from slightly more than 500 complaints in the same period last year. And it is not like the Weinstein effect is drying up. In fact, it has only just begun to gain momentum.
“While there was little to no effect in the first month following the sexual harassment revelations in Hollywood, the spike has been building ever since as an increasing number of influential and powerful men kept getting exposed and ostracized by the public,” says our experienced sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles.
In some of the complaints, the alleged victims in California and New York asked the respective department to launch an investigation into the behavior of their employers, supervisors, and co-workers. In other complaints, on the other hand, alleged victims sought permission to file a lawsuit against the harasser, groper, abuser, or grabber.
Here at the JML Law, our best sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles have seen a dramatic increase in phone calls from both men and women retaining our legal services or simply obtaining a free consultation to find out more about California laws. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney has noticed that one of the biggest mistakes sexual harassment victims make is going straight to their employer’s HR department to report incidents.
While it may be necessary to report the offending conduct to the HR, it is highly advised to (a) document each event of sexual harassment, (b) collect more evidence, and (c) speak with an experienced lawyer before reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. After all, HR departments tend to cover up for their employers and supervisors, as they act in the best interests of the company.
Schedule a free consultation by contacting the JML Law today. Call at 818-610-8800 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.