Nardone HR & Management Consulting (“Nardone Consultants”) regularly assists its clients with labor, employment, and human resource (“HR”) issues, including: (i) conducting investigations and providing guidance on preventing discrimination and harassment, and (ii) responding to discrimination and harassment allegations and charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission(“OCRC”). Please view our prior article on Preventing Harassment in the Workplace Today.

What is the EEOC and the OCRC?

The EEOC and the OCRC are responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws. For instance, employees may file a charge with the EEOC or the OCRC, against their employer, alleging discrimination or harassment based on: (i) gender or sex, including pregnancy; (ii) race; (iii) color; (iv) age; (v) religion; (vi) disability; (vii) national origin; (viii) ancestry; (ix) military; or (x) another legally protected class. Once such a charge is filed, the agency conducts an investigation to obtain evidence, from all parties, to determine whether there is merit to the allegation of discrimination.

EEOC’s Recent Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention

According to EEOC’s March 20th press release, it convened an “Industry Leaders Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention.” See details below from this press release:

The Roundtable continues the EEOC’s efforts to lead harassment prevention efforts, including two Commission meetings and a Reconvening of the Select Task Force in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The roundtable will inform strategies for the next generation of issues flowing from the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace in 2015, the task force Co-Chairs’ 2016 Report, and the #MeToo movement.

“The EEOC gathered these leaders to better understand the needs of the workers and employers in their industries and the wide range of solutions to prevent workplace harassment,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “The EEOC stands ready to help in the effort to change workplace cultures to be more respectful and inclusive,” added Lipnic.

EEOC Commissioner Charlotte A. Burrows stated, “Today’s roundtable discussion is an important step in furthering the Commission’s goal of ending workplace harassment and implementing strategies to build on the work of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. I am pleased to have the thoughtful input from so many different industries, and I will continue to work to ensure the Commission remains a valuable resource in this area.”

Representatives from a diverse group of industries and associations discussed challenges their members and the public face in addressing issues raised by the #MeToo movement. Participants also shared strategies they have implemented to improve workplace culture and reduce harassment.

Bottom Line on Preventing Workplace Harassment

It is critical for employers to keep up with and implement the newly, recommended strategies to prevent discrimination or harassment. Additionally, employers must continue to ensure that they are taking those proven steps and other measures, which the courts require to defend against discrimination or harassment. These steps and measures include: (i) establishing and enforcing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures; (ii) providing the necessary training on such policies and procedures; and (iii) addressing related complaints promptly, thoroughly, and sufficiently to defend against potential discrimination charges or litigation and related liability. Stay tuned…Nardone Consultants will continue to provide updates and other new information on preventing harassment in the workplace today.

Contact Nardone Consultants

Tanya Nardone has conducted many harassment investigations and anti-harassment trainings for clients. She has also defended clients against discrimination or harassment charges filed by employees or former employees. Tanya knows it is critical to minimize disruptions in the workplace. Nardone Consultants’ goal is to tailor its services to meet each client’s needs from representing clients against discrimination or harassment charges filed with EEOC or OCRC or developing a customized employment handbook that includes an anti-harassment policy and related complaint procedure. If your company needs to evaluate and update its current policies, procedures, and practices on discrimination and harassment in the workplace or it needs to conduct workplace harassment training or respond to discrimination/harassment allegations/charges, contact Nardone Consultants.