More questions than answers come out of EEOC public meeting on workplace harassment


Yesterday, the EEOC’s Select Task Force on Workplace Harassment (STF) — as opposed to this STF (sorry, I’m basically a 12-year-old trapped in a quasi-successful lawyer’s body) — held its first public meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the scope of workplace harassment and the types of research already existing on the issue.

If you weren’t able to attend in person, the EEOC tweeted out highlights. I went ahead and aggregated those tweets here.

As you may have imagined, the first meeting did not deliver a solution to stopping harassment in the workplace. Rather, Commissioner Lipnic recognized that it was “designed to start the work of the task force at square one.”

A couple of highlights from the meeting:

  • Gender harassment is easily the most common form of workplace harassment
  • The number of EEOC complaint reflects but a fraction of the number actual incidents of workplace harassment.
  • Some of the disparity between harassment and reporting can be explained by fear of retaliation
  • Embracing diversity — rather than propagating stereotypes in the workplace — is crucial to preventing harassment

To assist the public, the EEOC launched a new web page with links to EEOC’s many resources about workplace harassment, including a page to submit feedback and share suggestions about how to solve harassment in the workplace.


  • Reassignment to another position, for which they are qualified, in another office in the agency, would go a long way toward avoiding repeat offenders, after a finding by the EEOC. Sometimes employees just need a fresh start after their civil rights have been violated, and they have been betrayed by their federal government.