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The EEOC Has Issued Updated Proposed Harassment Guidance for Employers

October 23, 2023

Harassment has remained at the top of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) most received charges since 2016. Late last month, in an attempt to provide employers with clarity, the federal agency proposed new guidelines entitled “Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace.” The updated guidance discusses evolving case law including the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 2020, Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination. The EEOC’s new guidance addresses issues of sexual harassment and sexual abuse of people in the workplace.

The proposed guidance clarifies the legal standards employers must follow and an employer’s potential liability for harassment claims under federal employment discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC, including federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Age

Another emerging hot topic that the guidance touches on includes technology and summarizes how social media or digital content can contribute to a hostile workplace. The public is invited to submit comments on the proposed guidance via the Federal Register through Wednesday, November 1.

If you or your employer have questions about the EEOC’s updated proposed harassment guidance, please contact the Walter Haverfield Labor & Employment Services Group.

Jessica L. MacKeigan is senior counsel at Walter Haverfield who frequently represents employers in labor law and employment matters. She can be reached at or 216.928.2928.