The U.S. Department of Justice announced on February 28, 2018, that it plans to put into place a “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Initiative” for the purpose of combating workplace sexual harassment in the public sector, including all state and local government employers. The workplace initiative will focus on three components – enforcement, remediation and outreach.
Among the outreach initiatives include:
- Creating trusted and safe avenues for employees who report sexual harassment.
- Ensuring management support for all anti-discrimination policies and practices.
- Implementing accountability measures to ensure the timely and effective resolution of sexual harassment complaints.
- Adopting comprehensive anti-sexual harassment policies and procedures that include regular, tailored, and interactive training for all employees.
- Providing safeguards against retaliation for persons who report sexual harassment and for employees who support them.
This initiative, along with the #MeToo movement emphasizes the continuing need of public sector employers to have in place firm and effective sexual harassment policies and to conduct periodic training of its employees and managers on compliance. We will continue to monitor this initiative and will be happy to assist your agency in complying with the current state of the law as well as this new initiative.