A report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) highlights best practices for employers to prevent and respond to workplace harassment. According to the EEOC report, employers should:
- Foster an organizational culture in which harassment is not tolerated;
- Adopt and maintain a comprehensive anti-harassment policy (which prohibits harassment based on any protected characteristic, and which includes social media considerations) and establish procedures consistent with the best practices outlined in the report;
- Ensure that any such anti-harassment policy–especially details about how to complain of harassment and how to reportobserved harassment–is frequently communicated to employees in a variety of forms and methods;
- Ensure that where harassment is found to have occurred, discipline is prompt and proportionate to the severity of the infraction. Discipline should be consistent and not give or create the appearance of undue favor to any particular employee; and
- Dedicate sufficient resources to training middle-management and first-line supervisors on how to respond effectively to harassment that they observe, that is reported to them, or of which they have knowledge or information–even before such harassment reaches a legally-actionable level.
Click here to read the EEOC report in its entirety.
Information regarding employer responsibilities under federal nondiscrimination laws may be found in our section on Discrimination.