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May 31, 2024Advocacy Matters

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace 

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace 

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 

 #AdvocacyMatters Segment 

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace 


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has officially released its final guidelines on workplace harassment. The guidance is considered a sub-regulatory document. Subregulatory guidance refers to the informal guidance provided by government agencies, such as the EEOC, that clarify existing laws and regulations without going through the formal rulemaking process. This type of guidance is not legally binding like regulations, but it serves to help organizations and individuals better understand how to comply with the law. 


The comprehensive guidelines aim to provide employers and employees with clear strategies to identify, prevent, address, and combat harassment in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; sexual orientation, and gender identity) national origin, disability, age, or genetic information. The guidelines were written by the EEOC Office of General Counsel with public input and approved by a vote of the EEOC. 


According to the EEOC, between 2016 – 2023, more than one-third of all discrimination charges received by the EEO included an allegation of harassment based on race, sex, disability, or other protected class.  


Key highlights of the EEOC’s final guidelines include: 

  1. An explanation of when harassing conduct in the workplace violates the law. 
  1. An explanation of what a hostile work environment is. 
  1. Some examples of harassing conduct based on a legally protected characteristic. 
  1. Steps employers can take to prevent harassment. 



The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee. The EEOC’s mission is to promote equality of opportunity in the workplace and enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  



The EEOC’s final guidelines on workplace harassment represent a milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat harassment and promote workplace equality. By providing clear and actionable strategies for prevention and response, these guidelines empower employers to create a workplace where all individuals are respected, valued, and free from harassment.   


Visit for links to the guidance and a summary of the key provisions in a Q&A format. 




Summary of Key Provisions 


EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace 

Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (