The EEOC Wants Your Comments to Its Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment

By: Christina M. Reger 

Just when you thought you had it all figured out, here comes the EEOC again. This time, the EEOC’s latest Guidance is aimed at revising, consolidating and superseding four existing EEOC documents issued in the 1990s and portions of the EEOC Compliance Manual. The Guidance responds to a report issued by the EEOC’s Select Task Force on a Study of Harassment in the Workplace, issued in June 2016, which I am sure all of you read. In case you have not, you can find the 95-page document here

This report sets forth findings and recommendations about harassment prevention strategies, including how to effectively train employees to reduce incidents of harassment and effective employer policies. 

So, in your copious amounts of free time, you can peruse the 75 page document and offer your comments to the EEOC


you can read this blog to get the highlights and know what is coming down the pike — often whether you like it or not. 

The document does not focus solely on sexual harassment but addresses all types of harassment. As Chair Jenny R. Yang has stated, “Harassment remains a serious workplace problem that is the concern of all Americans. It is important for employers to understand the actions they can take today to prevent and address harassment in their workplaces. . . . The Commission looks forward to hearing public input on the proposed enforcement guidance.” 

The Guidance also focuses on defining and evaluating a hostile-work environment claim as well as the basis for holding employers liable. It also provides examples of unlawful conduct. Now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your harassment policies and see if yours is up to snuff. 

The EEOC will accept public input until February 9, 2017.