Many employees who have experienced sexual harassment at the FDIC do not file formal complaints, an inspector general report has said, adding that in many cases fear of retaliation may have been the reason.
A report said that in a survey the IG conducted last year, 8 percent of respondents reported having experienced such harassment, consistent with the findings of an earlier broader study by the MSPB which found 9 percent (in that study, the government-wide figure was 14 percent).
“Although 191 FDIC respondents to the OIG survey reportedly experienced sexual harassment, the FDIC only received 12 reported sexual harassment allegations, including both formal EEO complaints and misconduct allegations from January 2015 to April 2019. This suggests there may have been an underreporting of sexual harassment allegations,” the IG report said.
“We recognize that there are many reasons why employees may not report sexual harassment. Our survey indicated that 38 percent of FDIC respondents who stated they had experienced sexual harassment said that they did not report the incident(s) for fear of retaliation. Nearly 40 percent of FDIC respondents did not know, or were unsure, how to report allegations of sexual harassment. Further, almost 44 percent of the FDIC respondents to the OIG survey felt that the FDIC sexual harassment,” it said.
It said that management agreed with most of its recommendations directed toward improving policies and procedures relating to FDIC actions in response to allegations; promoting a culture in which sexual harassment is not tolerated and such allegations are promptly investigated and resolved; ensuring consistent discipline; and enhancing training for employees and supervisors.