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Survey: 17% of companies report increase in behavior complaints since #MeToo

New data from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows that 17% of companies report seeing “complaints about inappropriate behavior”  rise since #MeToo and #TimesUp rippled across the country. The updated research was carried out in June and saw 150 HR leaders in the U.S. take the survey.’

Here’s how people are acting at work today

Companies weighed in on what’s going on at work, given the impact of the “movements:”

  • “We have observed no difference in behavior:” 54.76%
  • “We have seen an increase in complaints about inappropriate behavior:” 16.67%
  • “We have observed a more respectful atmosphere at work:” 14.29%
  • “Men are more cautious about interactions with women at work:” 7.14%
  • “We have seen a decrease in complaints about inappropriate behavior:” 4.76%
  • “More women are asking for raises/promotions:” 2.38%
  • “Women are more cautious about interactions with men at work:” 2.38%

So, what about sexual harassment regulations at work since #MeToo?

The research shows that 52.08% of employers said in June that they have “reviewed” their sexual harassment policy since then, compared to 34.28% in January. Within the pool of workplaces that did so, 58.33% said in June that they updated it, versus 25% in January.

As for maintaining the status quo, 41.67% said in June that they “are comfortable with our current policy,” versus 62.86% in January.

Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., commented on the research in a statement.

“It is not surprising that companies are seeing more people come forward in the wake of #MeToo, as workers feel supported and empowered to do so. Likewise, it makes sense that there would be some caution when it comes to interactions at work in order to keep from crossing any lines,” he said. “However, it is imperative that employers create an environment where this cautious approach to employee interaction does not keep women from having a seat at the table or otherwise compromise the advancement of worthy workers.”

The consequences of romance at work

While 51.11% said in June that they “have a formal, written policy that is reviewed with all employees” (56.66% in January), 28.89% said in June that they don’t have one at all (26.67% in January).

Now is also a bad time to be in a relationship with your boss: 77.78% said in June that “relationships between a manager and a direct report” are forbidden, while 70% said so in January.

While 24.44% said in June that the company has to know about “all relationships,” just 16.67% said so in January. But still, 13.33% said in June that all relationships are fine, as long as the company knows about it, compared to just 6.67% in January.

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