The EEOC has issued a report on best practices against harassment in the workplace, identifying those practices as committed and engaged leadership, consistent and demonstrated accountability, strong and comprehensive harassment policies, trusted and accessible complaint procedures, and regular, interactive training tailored to the audience and the organization.
The EEOC said that leadership commitment may be demonstrated by, among other things: clearly, frequently, and unequivocally stating that harassment is prohibited; incorporating enforcement of, and compliance with, the organization’s harassment and other discrimination policies and procedures into the organization’s operational framework; allocating sufficient resources for effective harassment prevention strategies; and providing appropriate authority to individuals responsible for creating, implementing, and managing harassment prevention strategies.
It said that leaders also should ensure that their organizations: regularly communicate harassment policy to all employees; regularly and effectively train all employees regarding the policy and the complaint system, and do the same for supervisors and managers about how to prevent, recognize and respond to objectionable conduct; acknowledge employees as appropriate for creating and maintaining a culture in which harassment is not tolerated; and, as appropriate, impose discipline “that is prompt, consistent, and proportionate to the severity” of the conduct.
Training is most effective, it added, when it is: championed by senior leaders; repeated and reinforced regularly; provided to employees at every level and location of the organization; provided in a clear, easy to understand style and format; provided in all languages commonly used by employees; tailored to the specific workplace and workforce; conducted by qualified, live, interactive trainers, or, if live training is not feasible, designed to include active engagement by participants; and routinely evaluated by participants and revised as necessary.
“In addition, harassment training may be most effective when it is tailored to the organization and audience. Accordingly, when developing training, the daily experiences and unique characteristics of the work, workforce, and workplace are important considerations,” the EEOC said.