Now More Than Ever, Employers Should Take Steps To Prevent Workplace Harassment
On February 2, 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against a subsidiary of the largest industrial staffing company in the United States. In a press release regarding the EEOC’s lawsuit, the director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District, said, “Employers - including staffing firms - are responsible for ensuring their workplaces are free from any type of sexual harassment. Companies that tolerate sexual harassment - or fail to adequately punish harassers - do so with blatant disregard for the law.” The EEOC filed the lawsuit despite the fact that the company had conducted an investigation into the alleged harassment, but the EEOC found that the company's remedial action was insufficient. This lawsuit is a reminder that the EEOC expects employers to clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated by providing sexual harassment training and by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.