Comments Sought on Harassment Guidance

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is seeking the public’s input on a new draft enforcement guidance on workplace harassment.

The draft guidance released on Tuesday the 10th is a product of a task force the commission convened in 2015 to analyze workplace harassment and identify innovative and creative prevention strategies.

Workplace harassment remains a problem. Here are the daunting statistics, according to the EEOC:

  • Between fiscal years 2012 and 2015, the percentage of private sector charges that included an allegation of harassment increased from slightly more than one-quarter of all charges annually to over 30% of all charges.
  • In fiscal year 2015, EEOC received 27,893 private sector charges that included an allegation of harassment, accounting for more than 31% of charges filed that year.
  • In the same year, federal employees filed 6,741 complaints alleging harassment – approximately 44% of complaints filed by federal employees that year.

We’re not just talking sexual harassment here. The data include charges of harassment based on national origin, religion, age, disability and genetic information.

You’ve got about a month to get your two cents in.

The proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment is available for input until Feb. 9, 2017 at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EEOC-2016-0009.

The task force was assembled, among other things, to study the “root causes” of harassment in the workplace.

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