How the Clarence Thomas Hearings Changed Sexual Harassment

New York 10/27/2011 09:57 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Twenty years ago, the views on laws concerning sexual harassment reached a turning point. In October of 1991, Anita Hill faced a Senate Judiciary committee to testify about the sexual advances she endured for years at the hands of Clarence Thomas.

Until those hearings sexual harassment was thing that women in the workplace simply accepted. Reporting the harassment could have cost a woman her job and sexual harassment lawyers could not shield them from retaliation. They also faced more harassment from co-workers.

In the year following the Anita Hill testimony, the Equal Opportunity Commission, where Hill worked with Thomas, experienced a 50 percent increase in reports of sexual harassment. And since then, women and men speak out more about sexual harassment. The EEOC reported 11,717 incidents of sexual harassment in 2010 compared to 6,883 in 1991.

Over the years, more and more employers educate their employees on how to recognize and prevent sexual harassment. Because of Hills testimony and legal uphill battles waged by sexual harassment attorneys, incidents of this harassment in the workplace and college campuses have significantly decreased, but reporting this misconduct has increased.

Although the topic of sexual harassment became a matter of national discourse and affected sweeping changes after the Clarence Thomas hearings, many men and women are still subjected to this behavior while on the job. And these individuals find that sexual harassment lawyers are necessary to help them stop their harassers.


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