April 01, 2020

Excerpted from: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ report, “Federal #MeToo: Examining Sexual Harassment in Government Workplaces”

Chapter 1: Introduction and Background

Strategies to Address and Prevent Sexual Harassment

While there may be debates regarding the causes for sexual harassment, most agree that these types of behaviors are unacceptable; employers are also bound by civil rights law not to commit sexual harassment. At the Commission’s briefing, Mona Charen, senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center testified that the #MeToo Movement has been a “necessary corrective to years of gross behavior by powerful men. Most of the men in politics, media, sports, and entertainment who’ve been identified as sexual predators have not even attempted to deny the accusations.”

Similarly, researchers from the Center for Employment Equity argue that harassment should be “addressed proactively and affirmatively as managerial responsibilities, rather than leaving it to the targets of discrimination to pursue legal remedies as individuals.”

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Other possible strategies that have been identified to address sexual harassment include instituting mandatory reporting requirements for managers and supervisors, increased transparency regarding the EEO process and its outcomes, creating systems of accountability for harassers, and providing institutional support for victims of harassment.

For instance, in their written submission to the Commission, Kalpana Kotagal, partner and Stacy Cammarano, associate in the Civil Rights and Employment Group at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC asserted that organizations should provide resources such as counseling sessions, monetary stipends for wellness programs, and onsite professionals to help employees recover and heal from the trauma of sexual harassment.

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The complete U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ report, “Federal #MeToo: Examining Sexual Harassment in Government Workplaces,” can be accessed here.

Cohen Milstein's "Submission to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Federal Me Too: Examining Sexual Harassment in Government Workplaces," authored by Kalpana Kotagal and Stacy Cammarano can be accessed here.