The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a government agency in charge of enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination and harassment. Currently, the EEOC has a 95% success rate in its litigation or pre-settlement. A complaint brought against a company might be just the start of long months of time-consuming official requests for information, intrusive investigations and negative publicity. And aside from potentially expensive damages, substantial legal fees are bound to result regardless of the outcome of the case.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employer discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion and includes the prohibition of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined in the law as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not necessarily need to be sexual in nature, and it also includes derogatory comments in relation to gender.
The law does not limit simple teasing, offhanded compliments, or one-off incidents that are not deemed serious. However, if those isolated incidents add up to a hostile work environment and results in adverse employment decisions, such as firings or demotions, that is when the EEOC can, and often does, step in.
Are you a business owner who is concerned about the lack of safeguards put in place both for your business and employees? The Boyle & Valenti team will assess your workplace policies to identify any areas where you may be at risk. And we will help you create a workplace that is both safe for your employees and allows your company to flourish and grow.