RELEASE: New CAP Column Explores How to Accomplish Change in the Wake of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Washington, D.C. — Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous judgment in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the landmark employment law case where the nation’s highest court first recognized sexual harassment as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In doing so, the court determined that sexual harassment in the workplace can create a hostile work environment that constitutes a form of illegal sex discrimination.

How well an employer responds to any incident involving harassment is pivotal to ensuring support for survivors in their recovery, fostering a safe workplace, and setting clear expectations for how future claims will be investigated and resolved. No industry is immune from workplace sexual harassment, but the actions taken in response are critical. A new column released today by the Center for American Progress examines what happens in workplaces after incidents of sexual harassment are reported, as well as important areas of focus for employers to help drive concrete change in the wake of such claims.

“The impact of sexual harassment in the workplace often is not confined to one particular incident or moment in time. Rather, the effects of trauma, uncertainty, and stress can linger for survivors and their work colleagues for weeks, months, even years. This means it is critical for employers to act swiftly and with care in the wake of these incidents occurring,” said Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow at CAP and author of the column. “The tone that employers set after any incident is incredibly important for preventing future incidents of harassment, which is why we hope employers will consider this resource when responding to claims of sexual harassment.”

Read Where Change Happens: The Aftermath of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace by Jocelyn Frye

For more information or to speak with the author, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.