Maxine Neuhauser, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Newark office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “5 Takeaways from the EEOC's New Harassment Guidance,” by Amanda Ottaway. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week issued its first guidance on workplace harassment since 1999, winning plaudits from lawyers who commended the bias watchdog's thoroughness, though the agency noted that some hotly contested issues may need to be handled case by case.

The long-awaited enforcement guidance, which was approved by a 3-2 party-line vote of the commission, supersedes the commission's publications from the 1980s and 1990s and collects information in one place. It addresses topics including remote work, the #MeToo movement and the U.S. Supreme Court's 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which held that sex-based discrimination includes bias involving sexual orientation or gender identity. …

Examples Are Plentiful And Popular

The final guidance includes 77 examples of a wide range harassment scenarios that could arise in the workplace and how the EEOC views them under the law. That's nearly double the number of examples that appeared in the draft guidance. Many are adapted from existing case law, according to the footnotes.

In an addendum to the guidance, the EEOC said the raft of examples was inspired partly by public comments that requested the agency "add additional examples illustrating how the EEO laws apply to potential harassment in a variety of contexts."

Experts universally said they appreciated the effort. …

Mickey Neuhauser, a member at Epstein Becker Green, highlighted the examples as the thing that most stood out to her about the guidance. The 1999 version didn't have that benefit, she said.

"It sets out in plain English the expectations of the EEOC," she said. "It honestly mirrors a lot of, I would say, the guidance we give to our clients when we are counseling them, or when we're providing training."

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