The steamroller of sexual assault and harassment claims have left no industry untouched in the #MeToo era.
Allegations of sexual misconduct took down media giant Matt Lauer, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and dozens of others. In Detroit last week, WXYZ-TV anchor Malcom Maddox was temporarily taken off the air when his former colleague Tara Edwards sued the station in federal court, seeking $100 million in a civil rights case claiming years of harassment.
Edwards said it’s the stories of others who’ve been empowered to talk about sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace that gave her “the courage to speak out. … I used to think no one would ever believe my story.”
The societal crescendo of truth-telling has had another kind of ripple effect. It’s given a boost to human resources companies that investigate claims of sexual harassment and offer training to workers and their bosses about what is and what isn’t appropriate behavior.
“This is an important movement that is happening right now, and it is serious,” said Kristen Baker, vice president of Detroit-based HR Advantage Advisory. “From any company’s perspective, the need for training and proper reporting protocol is critical, not only to protect yourself but to educate employees and supervisors.”