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Although gender and race are often the basis of workplace discrimination and harassment, so too are “age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” according to a Select Task Force (STF) assembled by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Established in January 2015, the STF includes academic, legal, business and labor professionals who have been focused on identifying and developing strategies for successful preventing or eliminating workplace harassment. The most recent meeting of the Task Force, the third convening of this group, took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. Below is a look at some of the most important developments to come out of this meeting.

Identifying How Discrimination Contributes to Workplace Harassment

Workplace Harassment Often Stems from Discrimination, EEOC Task Force Notes

Workplace Harassment Often Stems from Discrimination, EEOC Task Force Notes

As part of the STF’s most recent meeting, experts identified the following as basis of workplace harassment:

  • Disability, with visible impairments commonly giving way to “playground-type taunts” while not-visible impairments (e.g., mental impairments) more often leading to “intrusive medical questions or gossip and innuendo”
  • Religion, with harassment against Muslims (particularly those who wear religious garb) being a prominent problem, especially in light of current events (in the U.S. and abroad)
  • Sexual orientation gender identity, with harassment often take the form of “epithets and ostracism” and with the harassment of these individuals commonly being “severe”
  • Age, which experts noted is often not taken as seriously by the courts.

Commenting on the outcome of this recent meeting, EEOC Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum has stated:

The testimony we heard underscores the import of the Select Task Force’s work… Unfortunately, harassment in the workplace is not limited to just sexual harassment, but rather, impacts workers from many different backgrounds. Just as “it’s on us” to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, it’s on us – all of us – to prevent and stop harassment in the workplace, and the EEOC intends to play a critical role in doing so.

Expressing similar concerns about workplace harassment – and underscoring the importance of the Task Force’s work, EEOC Commissioner Victoria A. Lipnic noted that:

Today’s witnesses added important testimony to the body of evidence presented to the Select Task Force… Harassment can cover many bases in many different workplaces. Equally important, new digital platforms may provide meaningful ways to communicate within workplaces about unacceptable and potentially harassing workplace behaviors.

Contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Moon and Yang Professional Corporation

Have you been the target of harassment in the workplace? If so, you can turn to an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney at the Moon and Yang Professional Corporation for aggressive, effective legal advocacy in your pursuit of justice. At Moon & Yang, our lawyers are trial attorneys with significant experience representing both individuals and businesses in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels.

To find out more about our services and how we can help you, contact us today by calling (213) 232-3128 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in Los Angeles, our trusted lawyer provide superior service to clients throughout Southern California, including those in Koreatown, Orange, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Buena Park, Garden Grove and throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Categories: Age Discrimination, Racial Discrimination, Sexual Harassment