“Me Too” has more complaining of harassment at work

The “Me Too” movement has produced a reckoning in Hollywood and corporate boardrooms across the U.S. More broadly, it’s having an effect on the workplace, with more employees speaking up about inappropriate behavior, a new survey finds.

Since the campaign exploded last fall, more women are asking for a raise, according to findings released Tuesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which surveyed 150 HR executives globally in June. 

The survey, an update on one conducted by the global outplacement firm in January, found over 52 percent of companies had reviewed their sexual harassment policies since “Me Too” began. That compares to roughly a third who said they reviewed their policies in January. 

Nearly 17 percent of employers reported an increase in complaints of inappropriate behavior, while more than 7 percent viewed men as being more cautious in their interactions with female colleagues, and just over 2 percent said they observed women as being more cautious.

“Companies are responding to the cultural movement and recognizing that most of this abuse occurred in the workplace,” Andrew Challenger, vice president of the Chicago consultancy, said 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.”

More companies now discourage dating between subordinates and managers, with 78 percent saying they have such a policy in June, up from 70 percent in January. Twenty-seven percent of companies said they take relationships on a case-by-case basis, less than the 33 percent who described their policy this way in January.

The findings suggest “employers want to get ahead of potential problems by creating an overarching policy,” said Challenger, who advocates prohibiting relationships between bosses and those they supervise, but not among colleagues. As he put it: “Many strong relationships have been built in the workplace.”

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