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Claims Of Sexual Harassment In Idaho Increased Since Viral #MeToo Movement

AP Photo/Jim Mone
Women rally Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., in response to a tide of sexual harassment allegations.

The Idaho Human Rights Commission has seen a 10 percent uptick in the number of sexual harassment complaints filed since October 2017. Speaking on Idaho Matters Monday, commission director Ben Earwicker says the increase is in part because of the #MeToo movement.
“I really think this is unusual; I think it correlates with national trends," says Earwicker. "And the stories that people are hearing in the media, I think that is encouraging for people who have experienced sexual harassment to come forward and tell their stories.”

The state commission keeps track of complaints every year beginning in October, around the same time the movement took off on social media. Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.

Earwicker says after seeing the increase in complaints, the commission now is focused on prevention and making sure people know their rights when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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