Federal agencies sign memorandum to combat state, local government employee harassment

By Marian Johns | Jan 4, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have taken steps to further tackle state and local government employee harassment, the federal agencies announced. 

As part of their efforts to address local and state government employee harassment, the DOJ and EEOC have signed a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU), which is designed to improve the enforcement and applying of resources to deal with workplace harassment. 

“All Americans are entitled to work with dignity in a place that is free of unlawful and discriminatory harassment,” assistant attorney general Eric Dreiband said in a statement.  “Last February the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division launched an initiative to fight sexual harassment in the workplace. We are also diligently working to prosecute cases of racial and other forms of illegal discrimination. Through our strong partnership with the EEOC, we will continue to identify harassment claims, prosecute lawbreakers, seek relief for victims, and fight to eliminate harassment from the workplace.”

“Anyone who suffers workplace harassment deserves prompt relief," added EEOC Commissioner Charlotte Burrows. " I commend acting chair Victoria Lipnic and Dreiband for their leadership in taking this important step to enhance the federal response in harassment investigations.”

The federal agencies' MOU calls for increased and expedited coordination among the agencies regarding harassment allegations by a state or local government employee in which there is a prompt need for action due to the potential for "further harm," the DOJ said.  

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