The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has voted to release for public input a proposed enforcement guidance addressing unlawful harassment under the federal employment discrimination laws. The proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment is available for input until Feb. 9, 2017, at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EEOC-2016-0009.
This proposed guidance, which is the product of extensive research, analysis, and deliberation, explains the legal standards applicable to harassment claims under federal employment discrimination laws. The laws enforced by EEOC protect individuals from harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information.
Between fiscal years 2012 and 2015, the percentage of private sector charges that included an allegation of harassment increased from slightly more than one-quarter of all charges annually to over 30 percent of all charges. In fiscal year 2015, the EEOC received 27,893 private sector charges that included an allegation of harassment, accounting for more than 31 percent of charges filed that year. In the same year, federal employees filed 6,741 complaints alleging harassment — approximately 44 percent of complaints filed by federal employees that year.
The public is invited to submit input about the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment via www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, members of the public may send written feedback to: Public Input, EEOC, Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507. Please provide input in narrative form and do not submit redlined versions of the guidance document. Input will be posted publicly on www.regulations.gov, so please do not include personal information that you do not want made public, such as your home address or telephone number. The deadline for submission of public input is Feb. 9, 2017.