EEOC: Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) encourages federal agencies to eliminate harassment at its core, and it hopes to do so through education. Highlighting these issues is the EEOC’s publication “Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment,” which was published as a result of a 2015 Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.

To prevent harassment, the Select Task Force highlighted five themes: 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 organization. Agencies are not required to follow the Select Task Force’s guidance; however doing so is suggested in order to maintain a workforce that is respectful and inclusive.

Leadership and accountability are at the forefront of the report, which states that leadership can “create and maintain a culture in which harassment is not tolerated.” The EEOC advocates for leadership that routinely trains its employees and supervisors on the agency’s harassment policies, as well as how to identify behaviors that may lead to (or be considered as) harassment.

The policies on harassment must be easily understood and thorough to fully inform Agency employees. The Select Task Force encourages communication between employees and management to ensure that employees understand all aspects of the policy.

If these principals are not being upheld at your workplace, consider consulting with a federal employment attorney. Harassment cannot be permitted in the workplace, and a federal employment attorney may be able to provide assistance in navigating through the harassment complaint process.