In January 2015, the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Jenny Yang, announced the creation of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. Her message: We have made a lot of progress, but the problem persists. She named EEOC Commissioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic as co-chairs of the task force.
After more than a year of study, including numerous public hearings, in June 2016, on the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s recognition that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, Commissioners Feldblum and Lipnic issued their report. A copy of the entire report can be found here. We hope every HR professional will read the report, as well as some of the resources it cites.
In short, the report confirmed Yang’s concern that, while there has been significant progress made, the problem of harassment remains stubbornly persistent and much more needs to be done. And, when we talk about harassment, we mean not only sexual harassment, but also harassment on account of race, disability, religion and other protected statuses.
The report includes promising practices for employers to consider, as well as four checklists for employers to self-assess the strength of their efforts to prevent and correct any legal wrongs—which also carry with them the potential for enormous reputational and other business costs. It is important to read the entire report so there is a contextual framework for the checklists
We’ll chat about effective practices to stamp out harassment.
Q1. What are some key elements of a robust workplace anti-harassment policy and reporting procedure?
Q2. What are the most important steps to take within the first 24 hours of a harassment complaint being made to HR or to a manager?
Q3. What are some ways to prevent retaliation during and after a workplace harassment investigation?
Q4. What are some effective corrective actions in response to harassing behavior in the workplace?
Q5. Share a suggestion to increase the effectiveness of anti-harassment training of supervisors and employees.
Q6. Do you see examples of managers being rewarded for handling harassment complaints well? If so, what have you seen?
Q7. How can leaders best demonstrate their support for anti-harassment efforts in the workplace?
Q8. Share a promising practice to prevent workplace harassment that you think would help others.