New Sexual Harassment Guidance from the EEOC is on its Way
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced that it has updated its sexual harassment guidelines for the first time in over 20 years. The EEOC indicated that the timing of this update (it appears to coincide with the recent deluge of publicity surrounding sexual harassment) is entirely coincidental and that the EEOC has been working to update the guidance since 2015. One EEOC Commissioner indicated that the guidance will be helpful in this current state of affairs.
MEA will keep members updated on the EEOC’s timing for release of this guidance and, once the guidance is available, will update members on any changes they need to make. In the meantime, members should make sure that they are already in a state of compliance with EEOC guidelines by: (1) making sure your company has in place a thorough, compliant anti-harassment policy that includes a complaint procedure and a no-retaliation policy; (2) providing annual or semi-annual, professional anti-harassment training to all employees; (3) immediately investigating all instances of and reported complaints regarding workplace harassment; and (4) taking appropriate corrective action if needed.
Keep in mind that workplace harassment issues are time-sensitive and must be handled immediately and in accordance with sound procedures. Failing to act immediately or using unsound practices, for example improper investigation techniques, can place an employer at greater risk.
As always, MEA can assist you with any of these compliance needs. If you have any questions, please contact MEA’s hotline for additional information.
Ciana Williams, Esq., SPHR
MidAtlantic Employers’ Association
*This Alert is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.