The EEOC held a ‘top secret’* meeting with business groups yesterday and I’ve got all the details.

Seal of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.svg

By U.S. Government – Extracted from PDF file here., Public Domain, Link

And by ‘top secret,’ I mean ‘public’ where anyone can attend.

I didn’t attend because I don’t trust the blogmobile with the valet, among other reasons. Fortunately for us, however, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was kind enough to summarize this “Industry Leaders Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention.”

Speaking of which, here’s the EEOC’s press release. And here’s me quoting liberally from it:

[T]he U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) convened an “Industry Leaders Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention.”  The Roundtable continues the EEOC’s efforts to lead harassment prevention efforts, including two Commission meetings and a Reconvening of the Select Task Force in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  The roundtable will inform strategies for the next generation of issues flowing from the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace in 2015, the task force Co-Chairs’ 2016 Report, and the #MeToo movement.

Representatives from a diverse group of industries and associations discussed challenges their members and the public face in addressing issues raised by the #MeToo movement. Participants also shared strategies they have implemented to improve workplace culture and reduce harassment.

You can review some of the written submissions from the participants here.

But, here’s a bonus tip: Compassion.

Yesterday, I presented to a local SHRM chapter with a few attorney friends who represent employees. One of those co-presenters divulged a secret that HR can deploy to reduce the risk of litigation. What is it?

(I already told you. It’s compassion.)

For example, if you’re going to terminate an employee, don’t do it on the last day of the month. Otherwise, you may have just cost your (former) employee a full month of health insurance.

And, in terms of strategies to improve workplace culture and reduce harassment, HR can do its part by supporting employees who complain about discrimination and harassment.

  • Treat those individuals with respect.
  • Reaffirm that the complained-of behaviors have no place at work.
  • Listen; ask what you can do to help.
  • Consider the input of the victim when taking steps that are reasonably designed to end the harassment.
  • Communicate the outcome and check in often with the victims to ensure that the workplace has improved.

Tips galore!

And, if you come back tomorrow, I promise not to keep you in suspense any longer. I’m ranking my cereals!

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”