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The Keys to Harassment Prevention: An Interview With EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum

Chai Feldblum is a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She co-chaired the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, and produced a report in June of 2016, together with Commissioner Victoria Lipnic, that drew on the work of the task force.

Poor Policy Publication Revives Sexual Harassment Suit in the Fifth Circuit

Maintaining a company anti-harassment policy on a bulletin board and website is not enough to avoid liability for sexual discrimination according to a recent decision. On July 20, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals revived a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a school board’s clerical employee who alleged inappropriate comments and touching from a manager. While the board’s policy manual contained reasonable policy and complaint procedures to prevent harassment, the court found evidence the board made insufficient efforts to train the alleged harasser and other employees about such policies. This case clarifies the scope of an important affirmative defense for employers and demonstrates the importance of clearly explaining policies to employees. Pullen v. Caddo Parish School Board, No. 15-30871, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (July 20, 2016).

EEOC report suggests “rebooting” workplace harassment prevention efforts.

On June 20, 2016, the EEOC published the Report of its “Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.” (Check out an executive summary of the Report here.) That Task Force, formed in January 2015, also impaneled a group of outside experts to examine the causes, effects, and prevention of workplace harassment.

EEOC Workplace Harassment Task Force Recommends a 'Reboot' of Harassment Prevention

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace has released its report after a 14-month study of workplace harassment. The report includes a toolkit of compliance assistance measures for employers, and encourages employers to offer compliance trainings "on a dynamic and repeated basis to all employees."

U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Issue ‘Significant Guidance’ on Transgender Rights under Title IX

The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) have issued a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) containing “significant guidance” on how these departments will apply sex discrimination protections under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972 to transgender students.

A Valentine’s Day Poem for Employers

February 14th is almost here A day that many Valentines hold so dear

Roadmap for Handling Harassment Complaints When Perpetrator is Unknown

When it comes to a textbook case of workplace harassment, an employer’s job is generally straightforward – record the victim’s complaint; interview the victim, the alleged harasser and any potential witnesses; gather evidence; and implement interim measures to separate the victim and the alleged harasser. Then, impose any necessary discipline if harassment is confirmed.

Sexual Harassment: The Final Frontier of Workplace Gender Equality

The 800-pound gorilla in the office is (likely) wearing a suit and tie.

EEOC's Enforcement Strategy Yields $17 Million Verdict in Sexual Harassment Case

Preventing employee harassment through investigations and lawsuits is one of the pillars of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's current enforcement strategy.

Risky Business: A Three-Step Plan For Addressing Harassment By Nonemployees

Employers have long understood that they face potential liability when an employee is sexually harassed by another employee and they do nothing to prevent or fix the known problem. It is also true, but perhaps less well known, that similar liability can result when employees are harassed by customers, patients, or other nonemployees. Ignorance of this potential liability can be costly, but you can minimize your risks by following a simple three-step plan.