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Workplace Harassment Prevention Cheat Sheet by

Workplace Harassment Prevention
prevention     workplace     harassment

Introd­uction: What Employers Should Do

With the increased focus on workplace harass­ment, and the likelihood that additional claims will be raised against additional employers, what should employers do today?

Employers should evaluate their practices to ensure they maintain and implement preventive and remedial measures that have been recomm­ended by employment law practi­tio­ners, and agencies like the EEOC, for years. These recomm­end­ations include:


1. Mainta­ining robust policies prohib­iting all forms of harassment based on any protected class, including sex, and ensuring such policies are compliant with federal and applicable state law.
2. Establ­ishing and commun­icating a clear reporting mechanism, which requires employees to report workplace harassment and provides multiple avenues to bring such compla­ints.
3. Establ­ishing and commun­icating a strong policy prohib­iting retali­ation and holding managers accoun­table for upholding it.
4. Training all employees (super­visors and non-su­per­visors) on discri­min­ation, harass­ment, reporting, and retali­ation, with a focus on what employees should do and not only on what they should not.
5. Confirming the training program meets requir­ements in states (e.g., Califo­rnia, Maine, and Connec­ticut) where harassment training is mandated.
6. Invest­igating all allega­tions of harassment quickly and thoroughly and taking prompt remedial action when necessary.
7. Holding accoun­table all managers, not just human resources or legal depart­ments, for abiding by and enforcing the organi­zat­ion’s policies and practices.

Workplace Harassment

The EEOC Task Force Summarized

1. Workplace Harassment Remains a Persistent Problem
2. Workplace Harassment Too Often Goes Unreported
3. There Is a Compelling Business Case for Stopping and Preventing Harassment
4. It Starts at the Top — Leadership and Accoun­tab­ility are Critical
5. Training Must Change
6. New and Different Approaches to Training Must Be Explored
7. It’s On All of Us to Stop Workplace Harassment


The bulk of the EEOC’s recomm­end­ations for preventing harassment in the workplace focused on the need for effective workplace training. In furthe­rance of that recomm­end­ation, in October 2017, the EEOC announced that it would launch two new training programs for employers: Leading for Respect (for superv­isors and up) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employ­ees). The training programs will be conducted by EEOC Training Institute staff on-site at the employer’s location. The EEOC’s training follows its 2016 recomm­end­ation that employers should train employees on what they should do, rather than on what they should not do.

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