EEOC Releases Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Construction Industry

CMR Risk & Insurance Services Inc. > Blog > Construction > EEOC Releases Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Construction Industry
Posted by: CMR June 20, 2024 No Comments

Recognizing that the unique structure of construction jobs can leave workers in the industry especially vulnerable to workplace harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new guidance document outlining specific steps industry leaders can take to combat harassment in construction workplaces. The new document, “Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Construction Industry,” was released on June 18, 2024.

Risk Factors and Recommendations

According to the new document, risk factors that can increase the likelihood of harassment in the construction industry include the following, which can be exacerbated by the presence of multiple employers on a worksite and the cyclical, project-based nature of the industry:

  • Workforces that are primarily male or otherwise homogenous;
  • Workplaces where there is pressure to conform to traditional stereotypes; and
  • Workplaces that are decentralized.

To help prevent and address harassment in construction workplaces affected by these factors, core practices recommended in the document include: 

  • 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.

Among several more suggestions, the document recommends that project owners, including local and state governments, require contract bids to include plans for addressing harassment. Another recommendation is for general contractors to provide an anonymous hotline to receive complaints.

Building on Prior Reports

The new document follows a 2023 EEOC report titled “Building For the Future: Advancing Equal Employment in the Construction Industry” that examines discrimination in the construction industry through the lens of EEOC cases, witness testimony from a 2022 EEOC hearing and research. The new document also supports the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for fiscal years 2024-28, which, in part, focuses on combating systemic harassment and eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, including for groups that are underrepresented in industries like construction.

Article Published By: Zywave, Inc.

CMR Construction Services

Author: CMR

Leave a Reply