Why You Should Comment On EEOC Harassment Guidance

Shortly before the inauguration of President Trump, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published its proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment in the Workplace, which constitutes a substantial update of the Commission’s prior guidance issued more than 25 years ago.  The time for comments on the EEOC’s proposal recently was extended until March 21, 2017.

Employers should take advantage of the opportunity to provide input to the Commission advises DiMuroGinsberg partner, Jonathan R. Mook, in a recent article in HR Daily Advisor entitled “Stakeholders Get More Time to Comment on EEOC Harassment Guidance,” by Kate McGovern Tornone.  In that article, Jonathan emphasizes that the EEOC’s proposed guidance contains several notable provisions, including a prohibition on harassment based on sexual orientation and sexual identity, which represents an expansion of the law prohibiting sex discrimination.  Additionally, Jonathan points out that the proposed guidance also recommends that employers conduct “civility” training for their employees and appears to eliminate the “unwelcomeness” standard for sexual harassment.

Given the importance of the EEOC’s proposed guidance, Jonathan recommends that all employers obtain a copy of the proposal and submit comments on those aspects with which they disagree or find problematic.  Since harassment claims continue to increase, the EEOC’s enforcement guidance will have critical importance for all employers in the coming years.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the EEOC’s Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment, please contact Jonathan at jmook@dimuro.com.

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