Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Alexis Ronickher was quoted in a report released by Senator Patty Murray, “… So I Tolerated It: How Workplaces are Responding to Harassment and the Clear Need for Federal Action.” The report covers where current practices fall short in addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and how the federal government can step in to expand workers’ rights.
The report identifies one of the most pressing issues as the unnecessarily short statute of limitations that victims have to file a charge of sexual harassment with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Depending on the employer and jurisdiction, employees may have as little time as 180 or 300 days to file a charge.
Explaining that sexual harassment can be debilitating, the report concludes that set such strict limitations are a disservice to victims. “[Harassment] is disempowering and emotionally devastating. Three hundred days is not enough time for many harassment victims to sufficiently recover emotionally to move forward with their claims,” explained Ms. Ronickher in the report.
On top of lengthening the amount of time that victims can file a report with the EEOC, the report suggests other reforms to better serve vulnerable workers. Barring unjust non-disclosure agreements, strengthening federal anti-discrimination laws, and educating employees about their rights are just a few of the recommendations that the report states would best address the epidemic of workplace harassment.
Read the full report here.