How Updated EEOC Regulations Could Help You

November 8, 2023

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance concerning workplace harassment. The EEOC intends to provide more protection for workers in the workplace. As such, the proposed guidance “explains the legal standards and employer liability applicable to harassment claims under the federal employment discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC.” 

What It Does for You

These laws provide significant protections for workers, such as prohibiting harassment based on protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include religion, race, sex, color, age (if 40 or over), national origin, genetic information, or disability. The guidance also provides several examples that show a variety of scenarios. 

These examples can help employers see how to handle different situations. Though employers must stay updated on workplace harassment laws, employees should familiarize themselves, too. A basic understanding of these rules and updates can assist employees in feeling safe in the workplace. It also allows you to protect your rights when faced with harassment.

Proposed Updates

Some of the proposed updates concerning workplace harassment deal with the increasing use of digital technology. It also addresses how the many social media and online content can make the workplace environment more hostile. Another change discusses the addition of harassment based on pregnancy, reproductive decisions, and childbirth to sex-based harassment. The law protects you from these examples and the following:

  • The employer must inform you when they use information from your file against you.
  • You have a right to know what information is in your file.
  • You have a right to request your credit score.
  • You can dispute information you believe is incomplete, unverifiable, or inaccurate.
  • Employers must receive your consent before obtaining your consumer report.
  • You may limit prescreened offers of insurance or credit based on the information in your credit report.

What to Do

If the consumer reporting agency is nationwide, you have the following rights under the FCRA:

  • You can place a security freeze on your credit report. Security freezes prevent credit reporting agencies from releasing any information in your credit report without your permission.
  • You may seek damages from violators.
  • Active-duty military members or identity theft victims have additional rights.

Employers can face hefty fines and penalties for workplace harassment. In some cases, workers can choose to file a lawsuit. If you succeed in your lawsuit, you could receive actual damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and punitive damages. 

These updates to the EEOC’s regulations will have significant benefits for employees and job seekers alike. However, these regulations will not prevent employers from taking action based on the results of a consumer report. As such, you should ensure the accuracy of your background checks by running a self-check. Self-background checks allow you to correct inaccuracies before employers see them.

Background checks don’t have to be complicated. Try running a self background check today and give yourself a head start.