The United States Department of Justice has launched a new effort to review its sexual harassment policies. Revision of these policies could affect potential sexual harassment complaints in West Virginia as incidents have occurred throughout the United States and across various DOJ divisions.
DOJ harassment complaints are widespread
The department has instituted the policy review because sexual harassment complaints against officials at all levels are widespread. The inspector general’s office has verified many of these complaints, which have included:
• A former federal prosecutor accused of harassing several women across various agencies
• A former senior official accused of sexually assaulting a coworker and harassing other females
• A former U.S. attorney accused of being in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate
One official has asked for a comprehensive review of the policies and a report on recommendations with 180 days. That time frame suggests that a new policy recommendation could come forth in January 2022. The move comes after President Biden’s March 2021 executive order that calls for the U.S. government to support gender equity and equality.
Possible changes to a long-recognized problem
The inspector general’s office noted in 2017 that the DOJ had not responded sufficiently to sexual harassment problems within the department’s agencies. That report noted that groping, stalking and similar behaviors were common. Former Attorney General Rod Rosenstein established a group to review sexual harassment policies, but the recommendations left changes to individual departments to decide how to carry out directives addressing sexual harassment.
What if you have been sexually harassed by a DOJ official?
If the DOJ comes up with a definitive policy for sexual harassment, you may well have a valid civil rights complaint as the victim of sexual harassment perpetrated by a DOJ official. Exploring your options with a legal professional experienced in this area might lead to compensation.
Although marginalized employees have long been afraid to accuse their superiors, the door is opening toward equality. You may be able to improve your situation and prevent further harassment of your fellow workers.