The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed updated guidance for employers on workplace harassment. This article will point out some, but by no means all, of the most significant changes in the proposed guidance. Importantly, these guidance documents, even when final, are not law. Rather, they serve as a roadmap for how the EEOC will enforce the laws it is tasked with enforcing.
The new guidance, which covers a range of topics, incorporates explicit protections for reproductive choices and for LGBTQ+ workers. The guidance includes as sex-based harassment “harassment based on a woman’s reproductive decisions, such as decisions about contraception or abortion.” It also includes as sex-based harassment “…intentional and repeated use of a name or pronoun inconsistent with the individual’s gender identity (misgendering); or the denial of access to a bathroom or other sex-segregated facility consistent with the individual’s gender identity.” Continue reading