Equal Opportunities Commission publishes guide to help tackle harassment in the construction industry

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a guide which aims to help construction companies combat harassment in the workplace.

The commission said the document identifies five core practices that will help prevent and address harassment in the construction industry: committed and engaged leadership; consistent and demonstrated accountability; strong and comprehensive harassment policies; trusted and accessible complaint procedures; and regular, interactive training tailored to the audience and the organization.

Image: Adobe Stock

The document was launched at a roundtable hosted by the White House featuring federal agency leaders, employers, and trade unions.

Examples of good practice identified by the EEOC include: including local and state governments, is to require plans to address harassment in contract bids and for general contractors to provide an anonymous hotline to receive complaints for all onsite workers,

“At a time when job opportunities in construction are rapidly growing thanks to historic federal investments, significant harassment and discrimination still hinder equal employment opportunity in the industry,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “The EEOC is committed to removing barriers to equal opportunity, and these promising practicesprovide resources to employers to help prevent and respond to harassment.”

Companies receiving federal grant funding as part of the CHIPS and Science Act are required to commit to maintain healthy, safe, and respectful workplaces and prevent and address harassment.

“The unique structure of construction jobs leaves workers especially vulnerable to workplace harassment,” said EEOC Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels. “The strategies outlined in our new Promising Practices document will help all construction industry stakeholders identify and take concrete steps to effectively prevent harassment, address it if it occurs, and create a worksite culture that promotes equal opportunity for all workers.”

After a year long investigation, in June 2023 the EEOC published a report explaining the need to tackle harrassment and discrimination in the US construction industry which it said was responsible for “some of the most egregious incidents” it had seen. It said that the EEOC received at least 64 charges involving nooses in the construction industry between 2015 and 2022.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
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