Yesterday, the Chair of the EEOC, Jenny R. Yang revealed that the Commission will be conducting an in-depth study on workplace harassment over the course of the next year or so.
Led by a 16-member Select Task Force, this study will specifically analyze:
- The current state of workplace harassment in the U.S.
- The various forms workplace harassment can take
- Workplace harassment prevention methods.
Explaining the importance of this study, Yang noted that:
A lot of progress has been made around the issue of workplace harassment, but we know it remains a persistent problem. Complaints of harassment span all industries, include many of our most vulnerable workers, and are included in 30% of the charges that we receive.
Commissioner Victoria A. Lipnic echoed these sentiments, noting that:
I wish a task force on workplace harassment wasn't necessary in 2015. But, I hope and expect the expertise of our task force members will provide the insights and strategies needed to prevent harassment from occurring in more workplaces in the first place.
According to the press release announcing this workplace harassment study, the Select Task Force includes a range of professionals (including attorneys, academics, workers and others), all of whom will focus on devising innovative and effective strategies for addressing and curbing workplace harassment.
A Current Snapshot of Workplace Harassment in the U.S.
While the EEOC Workplace Harassment Study may end up being crucial to developing better ways of preventing and addressing workplace harassment, current research suggests that:
- Nearly 7 percent of U.S. workers have recently been the victims of workplace harassment.
- Workplace harassment causes stress and creates hostile work environments for employees.
- S. employers should be more concerned about preventing and stopping workplace harassment, as it ends up costing them significantly in terms of high turnover rates, lost productivity and, in the most serious cases, lawsuits and damage to their reputations.
What do you think about the EEOC's plans to study workplace harassment? Have you ever witnessed someone being harassed at work? We want to know your thoughts and opinions on this topic – so please share them with us below and on social media.
Atlanta Employment Lawyers at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP
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