Fedweek

Almost all federal employees know that sexual harassment is prohibited by law and policy, but agencies “still have work to do to put policy into practice,” the MSPB has said.

“That is a more challenging task that requires agencies to create a culture that is fair, inclusive, and open; establish and educate employees regarding complaint processes that are trusted, timely, and thorough; and hold harassers accountable, regardless of their status or title,” it said in a newsletter it issues several times a year.

It cited data from its most recent survey showing that 96 percent of federal employees say their agency has a policy against sexual harassment, but only 79 percent said their agency does enough to prevent it and only 63 percent said that management would take action against a supervisor who committed harassment.

But it added that among employees who reported that they had experienced harassment, while nearly as many, 94 percent, said the agency has a policy against it, far lower percentages said that they agency does enough to prevent it and holds supervisors accountable—only 57 and 39 percent, respectively/

“It is logical that employees who have experienced sexual harassment are less likely to believe that their agency did enough to prevent it. But it is not reassuring that employees who have experienced sexual harassment have a pessimistic view of how their agency responds to it,” MSPB said.