Bystander intervention training

Weintraub Tobin Shareholder, Beth West, shared her expertise and testified before the California Legislature’s Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response on February 15, 2018. The hearing focused on the legal issues surrounding sexual harassment and Ms. West’s testimony identified challenges employers face in having effective anti-harassment programs in place, as well as some legal challenges employers face when complaints are filed.
Continue Reading Attorney Beth West Testifies Before the California Legislature

The EEOC Special Task Force (“Task Force”) has spent the last 18 months examining the myriad and complex issues associated with harassment in the workplace. Thirty years after the U.S. Supreme Court held in the landmark case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson that workplace harassment was an actionable form of discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Task Force concludes that “we have come a far way since that day, but sadly and too often still have far to go.”

The Task Force was comprised of 16 members from around the country, including representatives of academia from various social science disciplines; legal practitioners on both the plaintiff and defense side; employers and employee advocacy groups; and organized labor. The Task Force reflected a broad diversity of experience, expertise, and opinion. From April 2015 through June 2016, the Task Force held a series of meetings – some were open to the public, some were closed working sessions, and others were a combination of both. In the course of a year, the Task Force received testimony from more than 30 witnesses, and received numerous public comments.  The Task Force focused on learning everything about workplace harassment – from sociologists, industrial-organizational psychologists, investigators, trainers, lawyers, employers, advocates, and anyone else who had some useful information.

Below is a summary of the Task Force’s key findings.

  • Workplace Harassment Remains a Persistent Problem. Almost fully one third of the approximately 90,000 charges received by EEOC in fiscal year 2015 included an allegation of workplace harassment on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color, and religion.
  • Workplace Harassment Too Often Goes Unreported. Common workplace-based responses by those who experience sex-based harassment are to avoid the harasser, deny or downplay the gravity of the situation, or attempt to ignore, forget, or endure the behavior. The Task Force found that roughly three out of four individuals who experienced harassment never even talked to a supervisor, manager, or union representative about the harassing conduct.Beth-West-15_web


Continue Reading The EEOC Special Task Force Issues Its Report on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace and Finds that “We Have Come Far But Still Have Far To Go”