BY: Citizens Count
In October the New York Times broke a story about Harvey Weinstein's history of sexual assault accusations. The story sparked a national conversation about sexual harassment. How much of an issue is sexual harassment in New Hampshire?
Sexual harassment in employment
According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOEC), just two employees filed sexual harassment complaints in New Hampshire in 2016. Only Maine and Vermont had fewer complaints that year.
However, employees do not have to file a complaint with the national EOEC. They can also file a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission (HRC). The HRC received 40 sexual harassment complaints in 2016.
When looking at sexual harassment reports to both state and federal officials in 2016, New Hampshire ranks around the middle of states in terms of complaints per capita.
Of course, official reports of sexual harassment do not capture all experiences of workplace harassment, since employees may be reluctant to come forward.
Sexual harassment in state government
In some ways, New Hampshire government is ahead of the curve when it comes to women's representation. New Hampshire has the most female state legislators in the nation, and New Hampshire's entire congressional delegation is female.
However, about a quarter of state legislators have not signed the form acknowledging they’ve read the official Statehouse sexual harassment policy.
Female legislators and lobbyists also describe many incidents of sexual harassment.
So far state legislators have not proposed any 2018 bills to revise New Hampshire's laws relating to sexual harassment.
At the national level, Rep. Ann McLane Kuster is co-sponsoring a bill strengthening policies to prevent sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.
Do you think sexual harassment is a major issue in New Hampshire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.