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Additional Means for Combating Harassment in the Workplace

Posted on July 25, 2016 in Discrimination & Harassment, Employee Rights

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a report of its “Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace,” the purpose of which was to move beyond the legal arena and gain insights into preventing workplace harassment from the worlds of social science and practitioners on the ground.

Lebau & Neuworth found the report extremely interesting and insightful, and we want to share a few items with you.

The report determined that workplace harassment remains a persistent problem, with close to one third of the estimated 90,000 charges filed with EEOC in 2015 relates to allegations of workplace harassment. This includes charges of unlawful harassment on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy), race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color and religion.

One of the key findings of the report is that the training processes provided by employers have not been effective, and also that the training by an employer must be tailored to the specific workforce and work place and must not be a “one size fits all” approach. The report focused heavily on the concept of training that might have an impact on shaping organizational cultures in a way that would prevent harassment in a workplace.

In its report, the taskforce further noted that two types of training that stood out as showing significant promise for preventing harassment in the workplace were (1) workplace civility training and (2) bystander intervention training. Workplace civility training is described as a training that focuses on promoting respect and civility in the workplace generally. Bystander intervention training is a type of training used to combat sexual violence in schools and could create a sense of responsibility on the part of employees to “do something” and not simply ignore harassment.

EEOC’s Executive Summary of its report can be read at: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_force/harassment/report_summary.cfm

The full text of the report can be accessed at: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_force/harassment/upload/report.pdf

If you have any questions or seek information about laws pertaining unlawful harassment in the workplace or any other types of employment issue, contact Lebau & Neuworth at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.

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