In 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a report entitled Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. The Co-chairs of the task force, Victoria Lipnic, currently Acting Chair of the EEOC, and Chi Feldblum, EEOC Commissioner, envisioned the report as a first step to rebooting workplace harassment efforts. The report included in the Executive Summary contained the following key findings: (Read the complete report here)
- Workplace harassment remains a persistent problem
- Workplace harassment too often goes unreported
- There is a compelling business case for stopping and preventing harassment
- It starts at the top—leadership and accountability are critical
- Training must change
- New and different approaches to training should be explored
- It’s On Us
In continuing this effort, the EEOC announced on October 4, 2017, that it would launch two new training programs for employers: Leading for Respect (for supervisors and up) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees.) The training programs will be conducted by EEOC Training Institute staff on-site at the employer’s location.
According to the FAQs provided by the EEOC Training Institute, the focus of the training will be on what the individual should do rather than what they should not do. Respect in the Workplace is designed to be a three-hour course, and Leading for Respect is designed to be a four-hour course with class sizes ranging between 25-30 participants for both courses. Each training course can be customized for each individual workplace and can include a section on the employer’s own policies and procedures for anti-harassment. In addition to the employer anti-harassment customization, the training can also be customized to include sexual harassment training to satisfy the state law requirements in California, Connecticut, and Maine.
The training programs were designed for EEOC by Fran Sepler of Sepler and Associates.
For more information and to inquire about the training for your company, go to the EEOC Training Institute Website. Private employers and state and local governments can use this link to connect with local EEOC Outreach Coordinators about the training. Federal agencies should contact FederalTrainingandOutreach@eeoc.gov for information.