US Civil Rights Commissions finds ‘widespread’ sexual harassment in federal government workplaces

On April 1, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) published a report titled, “Federal #MeToo: Examining Sexual Harassment in Government Workplaces.” The report summarizes an examination of the federal government’s response to workplace sexual harassment, including a review of how the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has enforced preventative and responsive efforts to sexual harassment. USCCR reviewed the frequency of claims and findings of harassment, resources dedicated to preventing and redressing harassment, and the impact of enforcement efforts. In addition to a broader review of the federal government, the Commission also reviewed the U.S. Department of State and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NSAS).

Key findings of the report include identifying that approximately 1 in 7 federal employees experienced sexually harassing behaviors at work between 2016 and 2018; that structural power imbalances and gender disparities are strongly predictive of workplace sexual harassment; there is a widespread fear of retaliation among victims of sexual harassment if they were to report instances of harassment; and that there are fewer workplace protections for federal employees compared to the private sector workforce.

A press release from USCCR is here. The full report is here.