The Civil Rights Commission found that one out of every seven federal employees experienced sexual harassment at work from 2016 to 2018. Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, no matter their sex or sexual orientation. However, the agency found that the majority of victims of sexual harassment in federal workplaces are women. Contractors and interns are more susceptible to sexual harassment because they do not have the same protections available to them as federal employees do. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that three-fourths of the victims of sexual harassment do not report it.
The Commission made several recommendations for the federal government. First, federal agencies should implement uniform disciplinary policies and penalties, and serious perpetrators of sexual harassment should be banned from promotions and the receipt of awards for performance. The organization also called for an end to reassigning sexual harassers to other divisions and recommended that agencies train bystanders to report and intervene when sexual harassment occurs. Mandatory sexual harassment training programs should be implemented by federal agencies.
Federal workers who have been the victims of sexual harassment at work may want to talk to experienced employment law attorneys. The lawyers may help their clients by guiding them through the complaint process within their agencies and with the EEOC. If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within the agency’s administrative process, the attorneys may file lawsuits for their clients in federal court. By filing a claim, a victim may be able to recover monetary damages.