#metoo: Reports of sexual harassment at work skyrocketing: Legal aid group
The number of reports of sexual harassment in the workplace more than doubled in recent months, according to the Achmea Legal Aid Foundation. In 2020 and 2021, the legal aid foundation handled just over 30 such cases per year. In the first half of 2022, the foundation received over 85 requests for help.
Sexually transgressive behavior got a lot of media attention in the wake of the #metoo movement and revelations about sexual misconduct at the talent show The Voice of Holland, among others. That is also reflected in the number of requests for legal assistance, the foundation, which consists of over 700 lawyers, said in a press release on Tuesday.
"What strikes me is that this subject is high on the agenda of many employers," said employment law lawyer Laura Vermeulen. "These cases happen in various sectors, within large and small companies, and also at all levels. In my practice, I see that it often concerns an anonymous report of transgressive behavior. Many employers respond very quickly to this, because they are worried about reputational damage, for example."
After someone files a sexual harassment report, the accused employee is often suspended with pay while an investigation agency or complaints committee investigates the accusation, the foundation explained. Based on the results of the investigation, which often consists of various interviews with colleagues, the case may be dropped, the accused employee may receive a warning, or they could face dismissal.