by Sam Levin
Originally published: June 28, 2016
Federal labor regulators have concluded that sexual harassment prevention training is often ineffective and sometimes even harmful, in a new report that strengthens growing claims that US universities are failing to combat gender discrimination.
A taskforce of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that workplace initiatives targeting harassment are generally focused on avoiding legal liability instead of stopping misconduct, echoing concerns of faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, which has received international attention for its high-profile scandals.
The new report from two commissioners of the EEOC, which enforces employment discrimination laws, comes as experts have increasingly called into question the standard responses to harassment. In the face of public scrutiny, employers and college administrators typically emphasize training initiatives, but critics say there is little evidence that courses make a difference.