• Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment
  • February 16, 2017 | Author: Laura Mullen
  • Law Firm: Leech Tishman - Pittsburgh Office
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment for public comment. The proposed guidance explains the legal standards applicable to harassment claims under federal employment discrimination laws, providing clarity where courts have not consistently applied the laws. The proposed guidance addresses harassment claims based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information, and provides concrete examples as illustrations of applicable laws.

    The proposed guidance also contains concrete suggestions for employers regarding harassment policies, training, and complaint procedures. The EEOC has identified five core principles that have generally proven effective for employers preventing and addressing harassment:
    • Committed and engaged leadership;
    • Consistent and demonstrated accountability;
    • Strong and comprehensive harassment policies;
    • Trusted and accessible complaint procedures; and
    • Regular, interactive training tailored to the audience and the organization.
    The proposed guidance provides a useful roadmap for employers wishing to revisit their own harassment policies. Employers may make comments on the proposed guidance until Feb. 9, 2017 at this link.

    A comprehensive policy should recognize the many forms of workplace harassment, and should include provisions on retaliation.