This past week was a busy one for the EEOC. We think we just got one step closer to the EEOC issuing its promised harassment report and guidance that addresses the #MeToo movement – on Monday, June 11, the EEOC’s Select Task Force On Harassment held a meeting titled, “Transforming #MeToo Into Harassment-Free Workplaces.”
If past practice is any indication, the discussions had in that meeting are likely to shape any new effort by the EEOC to respond to the issues brought to the forefront by the #MeToo movement. If you recall, the EEOC issued a report on workplace harassment and guidance for employers back in June 2016. In a statement, EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic stated that the report “laid the groundwork for the launch of a renewed effort to prevent harassment.”
How “renewed” is the EEOC feeling? Very, as evidenced by the 7 EEOC sexual harassment lawsuits filed on Wednesday, June 13, against employers across the country. It seems no industry is immune: A national trucking company, a restaurant franchisee and staffing company, among others, are all accused by the EEOC of looking the other way while employees were victims of sexual harassment.
Stay tuned for further updates. In the meantime, we can’t say it enough – employers, big and small, now is the time to review and update your harassment policies and training.