More than a million people have shared their Twitter posts since Alyssa Milano encouraged survivors of sexual harassment and assault to publicly post their #MeToo status this past October. The last time sexual harassment came to the forefront was when Anita Hill spoke out about Clarence Thomas in 1991 at his televised Senate confirmation hearing. Even though Thomas joined the Supreme Court; Hill’s testimony is credited for a dramatic increase in sexual harassment complaints with the EEOC. Companies should anticipate history to repeat.
When a disaster hits the news, especially local news, employees should be reminded of the company’s position and plan. It makes employees feel safe and assured that the company is looking out for their well-being. Think of #MeToo and the flood of high-profile sexual harassment allegations like tornado season. Now is the time for companies to speak; reinforce the policy.