According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge statistics, workplace harassment is alleged in approximately 30 percent of all charges filed with the commission.
As a result of this fact, the EEOC and new Chair Jenny R. Yang announced on Jan. 14 the commission's intent to focus on workplace harassment in 2015.
“Today, we continue to see systemic barriers to equal opportunity in many areas, including hiring, persistent harassment and increased retaliation,” wrote Yang in a statement released prior to the hearing. “This . . . presents an opportune time for a call to action – to enlist employers and workers in a broader effort to prevent and correct workplace discrimination and to identify real-world solutions for our most difficult workplace challenges.”
In addition, Yang announced the creation of a new task force that will be dedicated solely to harassment issues. Yang explained, “Through this task force we hope to better reach workers to ensure they know their rights and to better reach employers to promote best practices,” according to a statement issued by the EEOC on the hearing.
The EEOC’s recent statement regarding its focus on workplace harassment illuminates the reality that workplace harassment is still a major problem that employers need to strategically work to prevent.
It is critical that employers have a clear anti-harassment and discrimination policy that is communicated understandably to all employees. Now is the best time for employers to review their policies, training and investigative procedures.
A member of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office, Courtney L. Nichols serves as Co-Leader of Plunkett Cooney's Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.
Ms. Nichols focuses her litigation practice in the area of employment law ...
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