VIDEO: Workplace Civil Rights Agency Head Talks Today’s Hot Topics

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By Genevieve Douglas

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic (R) sat down with Bloomberg Law reporter Genevieve Douglas to talk about today’s pressing workplace harassment and discrimination issues, and the potential unknowns of big data.

Recent national scandals in Hollywood and news bureaus reveal that sexual harassment “is every day, everywhere,” Lipnic said in a video interview. In fact, one in four women report being sexual harassed in the workplace. Proposed EEOC guidance on sexual harassment encourages employers to examine the interactions that occur every day in the office to see if there’s a culture that negatively affects women, she said.

Employers should also be staying abreast of the court battle over whether Title VII protections cover sexual orientation. The meaning of “sex” is evolving, and the issue of whether sexual orientation discrimination is covered by federal law will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Lipnic said.

When it comes to use of big data in the workplace, Lipnic cautioned employers. “I think there’s a lot we don’t know” about the effects of using big data in the workplace, especially when it comes to hiring, performance reviews, and the potential for disparate impact, Lipnic said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington at gdouglas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com

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