On January 25th, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released their Fiscal Year 2017 Enforcement and Litigation Data Report. Although the numbers are a bit lower than in 2016, the message is still clear. Employers must put more effort into prevention.
The EEOC reported 695,000 complaints called in reporting discrimination of all kinds, including sexual harassment. But the top reported complaint continues to be retaliation after reporting a claim which totaled 48.8 % of all claims filed. Keeping in mind that most of the claims called in, and those settled, were prior to the MeToo and Time’sUp movements, it is likely that the numbers will increase in 2018.
Six ways employers can best protect the company AND the employees.
- Change your open-door policy to an open communications policy. And start communicating.
- Change annual company harassment prevention training to shorter learning and messaging that is reviewed and discussed frequently in the workplace.
- Teach employees and managers how to communicate respectfully and comfortably about the difficult topics.
- Always investigate. Every time. Even if you are not sure if an incident rises to the level of breaking the law.
- Hold everyone accountable to the same set of rules. Civility plus accountability equals trust in the workplace.
- Commit to #NoRetaliation.
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