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How the EEOC addresses sexual harassment at work

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Sexual Harassment |

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) plays a crucial role in fighting against discrimination at work. This includes upholding laws against workplace racial bias, religious discrimination and sexual harassment. It works to prevent bias against job applicants and employees because of race, religion, sex and other factors.

If employees or applicants face harassment, they have the right to approach the EEOC and file a complaint.

Understanding sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination. It goes against a law called Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the EEOC enforces. The EEOC categorizes certain forms of behavior as sexual harassment. This includes unwanted sexual advances, pleas for sexual favors and any verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It can also include derogatory comments about a person’s sex.

How the EEOC helps employees

Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed at work can turn to the EEOC. The process with the EEOC involves several steps to ensure a fair outcome:

  • Filing a charge: The victim files a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC.
  • Investigation: The EEOC investigates to determine if there’s a violation of the laws it enforces. This process may include gathering evidence and interviewing the person who filed the charge. The agency may also question the employer and any potential witnesses.
  • Conciliation: If the EEOC finds evidence of discrimination, it may try to resolve the case through conciliation. This involves negotiating with the employer to correct the discriminatory behavior of the offender.
  • Legal action: If conciliation doesn’t lead to a resolution, the EEOC may file a lawsuit. However, not every case of discrimination leads to a lawsuit. The decision often depends on the severity of the violation and the potential impact of legal action.

The EEOC aims to protect employee rights and promote fair practices at work. It enforces federal laws, investigates discrimination and takes legal action when needed. The commission provides a path to justice for those who have faced sexual harassment at work. Ultimately, it protects the rights of working individuals by combating any form of discrimination.