#MeToo Complaints Swamp Human Resource Departments

It is a critical moment for leaders and their HR departments to take a stand, says Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “This is their moment to finally get it right,” she says. Her group started the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in January, and it has received more than 2,700 complaints to date. Graves says that outpouring of stories and complaints speaks to employers’ long history of trying to keep claims private — or retaliating against workers. “Part of that healing is going to be changing the institutions that covered for harassment and abuse for so long,” Graves says. She says she worries, too, that many workers are not even able to bring claims — either because their employer is too small to be covered by federal law, or because the workers are independent contractors or interns who are also not protected under the law. However, she says, most organizations seem to recognize the need for fundamental change. “This is no longer an issue that is just sort of a side issue for only people who are HR professionals to be concerned with; this is an issue that boards and the senior leadership of companies should be deeply concerned about,” Graves says.