Several legal experts, entrepreneurs, nonprofit workers, and labor advocates recently spoke at an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission meeting held in Washington. Because of the attention that the #MeToo movement has brought to sexual harassment in Hollywood, politics, and other industries, the EEOC reconvened a task force it had created more than two years ago to investigate workplace harassment.
Members of the task force talked about how to prevent harassment for some of the nation’s most vulnerable, and less visible, employees; including workers who are at risk of facing harassment not only from their co-workers, but from customers and guests as well.
Take Kasey Nalls for instance, a housekeeper who spoke to the commission about a time she was harassed at work by a naked hotel guest who “blocked her path to the door,” forcing her to “barrel and run into him and jump over the bed just to get out of the room.”
Despite thousands of women continuing to come forward and speak about their own personal experiences with harassment at work, the commission’s acting chairwoman, Victoria A. Lipnic claims it had not seen an increase in sexual harassment reports so far in 2018. Ms. Lipnic said, “What I have heard a lot of is internally, employers have seen an uptick within their own internal processes, of people coming to H.R. complaining, that human resources has an uptick in investigations that they are conducting.”
While the commission has yet to see increased reports, awareness of the agency’s work has grown more recently. According to Chai Feldblum, the rate of online traffic on the agency’s website has tripled over the past few months. Both Ms. Lipnic and Ms. Feldblum, say the last 9 months have established a “cultural awakening” that has allowed the commission to play a crucial role in the conversation taking place in the news and on social media.
Back in 2016, the commission released a report that said “much of the training done over the last 30 years has not worked as a prevention tool — it’s been too focused on simply avoiding legal liability.” Since the report was released, the commission has been helping employers with new training programs that emphasize respect and inclusivity instead of focusing on legal definitions.
Are you experiencing harassment at your place of work? We can help you take legal action. At Marder Employment Law, our legal team is committed to helping workers in Northern California defend their labor rights. We have the skills and resources that you need to take action against you employer and secure the justice you deserve. Let us put our 20+ years of legal experience to work for you.
Contact our Hollister sexual harassment lawyer today to schedule your free case consultation.