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March 30, 2015 • joedolson

EEOC Select Task Force To Study How To Address And Prevent All Types of Workplace Harassment

The EEOC Select Task Force, announced 3/30/2015, will examine the problem of workplace harassment in all of its forms and look for ways by which it might be prevented and addressed. The Select Task Force will be co-chaired by EEOC Commissioners Chai R. Feldblum and Victoria A. Lipnic.

“A lot of progress has been made around the issue of workplace harassment, but we know it remains a persistent problem. Complaints of harassment span all industries, include many of our most vulnerable workers, and are included in 30% of the charges that we receive.” said EEOC Chair Yang. “Through creation of this Select Task Force, I hope we will reach more workers and more in the employer community so we can understand the challenges they face and promote the practices we’ve seen work. I really look forward to the results.”

[Association Note: In 2014, the average cost of a harassment case was $19,020 plus the added cost of any associated internal investigation by the employer, which has been estimated at $50,000 to$60,00, for a total estimated cost of over $79,000 per settlement. Retaliation cases cost employers an average settlement of $22,904 plus the costs of the internal investigation. The Association’s Spring2015 Conference in Tampa will demonstrate, and discuss with EEOC, an economical and reasonable best practice approach that needs to be implemented at any entity to reduce and eliminate these expensive employer settlements.]

“Harassment occurs every day in workplaces across America and that is an unacceptable reality. The question is, what can we do about it? I am pleased to be co-chairing the Select Task Force for the Study of Harassment in the Workplace with my colleague, Commissioner Lipnic. The Task Force will provide a unique opportunity to share ideas and come up with new and creative strategies to address this problem,” said Feldblum.

Lipnic said, “From the time I first joined the EEOC, I was surprised and alarmed by the consistent number of harassment charges we receive and the disturbing facts we see in many of the cases we handle. I wish a task force on workplace harassment wasn’t necessary in 2015. But, I hope and expect the expertise of our task force members will provide the insights and strategies needed to prevent harassment from occurring in more workplaces in the first place.”

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