Prof Aziz, EEOC Task Force Examine Workplace Harassment

June 22, 2016

aziz-TAMULaw-cropProfessor Sahar Aziz

Texas A&M University School of Law Associate Professor Sahar Aziz attended the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Select Task Force meeting to release a major report on the study of harassment on June 20 in Washington, D.C.

Aziz is a ​member of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. She said the meeting highlighted five key lessons learned from the task force’s efforts.

  1. Workplace harassment remains a persistent problem that comprised nearly one third of EEOC charges in 2015.
  2. Harassment often goes unreported due to employees' fear of retaliation. Therefore, a particular organization's low number of harassment complaints is not necessarily indicative of a harassment-free workplace.
  3. There is a compelling business case for stopping and preventing workplace harassment. In addition to legal costs, a workplace infected with harassment decreases employee productivity and increases employee attrition both by victims and bystanders.
  4. The Commissioners highlighted the importance of leadership at the highest levels of an organization to create a workplace culture where harassment is not tolerated.
  5. The Commissioners emphasized that current training programs tend to adopt a one-size-fits all approach that has not been effective in preventing harassment.

EEOC“More research is needed to develop more effective training tailored to a specific workforce and workplace,” Aziz said.

The Commissioners ended the meeting noting that the report was the first step in a long term strategy to bring together employers, labor, employee advocates and government agencies to make American workplaces more inclusive, respectful and productive.

Aziz said it was an honor and a privilege to serve on the EEOC's Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.

“Membership on the task force offered a unique opportunity to collaborate with reputable scholars, lawyers, and advocates committed to upholding civil rights in the workplace,” she said. “Thanks to Texas A&M University's support of faculty scholarship, I was able to use my research to make a substantive impact on timely legal and public policy issues."

Read the complete EEOC Task Force report.

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law