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tv   Washington Journal Chai Feldblum  CSPAN  October 27, 2017 2:16pm-2:41pm EDT

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>> after wrapping up their week, the u.s. house is back for legislative work next week. live coverage here on c-span. yesterday the house approves the 20 18th republican budget resolution, which calls for congressional committees to work on overhauling the u.s. tax code. chairman of the house ways in means committee, kevin brady says the gop tax bill will be theoduced next week, and committee will mark the legislation on monday, november 6. andcan read the outline watch debate on the bill on c-span.org. in a couple of minutes, today's white house briefing with press secretary sarah huckabee sanders pit we expect questions about the gop tax plan and other topics. that is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. eastern
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he will haven't lied when it starts on c-span. while we wait for that -- we will have it live when it starts on c-span. while we wait for that, some of today's "washington journal." employment opportunity commission here to help us about our conversation about sexual-harassment and the work place. eeoc and how does this agency play a role in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace? the eeoc was created in the 1964 civil rights act. an independent agency to enforce on discrimination in the workplace based on sex grade one of the prohibited acts is to sexually harass someone. is takewhat we do charge when someone has experienced harassment, we investigate, we try to settle
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them. we have helped thousands of women get harassment to stop in their workplace, often getting money damages even before they have to go to court. the other role we have is outreach and education. we are trying to stop harassment before it happens. we do training and other things along those lines. host: what is sexual-harassment? how do you define it? guest: there are two definitions. one is illegal sexual harassment and that is harassment that is severe, like physical touching, or what is called pervasive, it happens continuously. that is what you need to get to the level of illegal harassment. from the eeoc perspective, we want to stop harassment before it becomes illegal under the law. that means stopping any
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unwelcome sexual conduct. that is asking for sexual favors or pushing for sexist,avors as well as grading comments. comments.ng host: does the harasser have to be a supervisor? guest: there are stricter rules on the employer if the harassment is a supervisor, but a harasser can be a coworker, and that has to stop or the employer will be reliable, the harasser can be a client and if the employer knows about it that has to stop. a harasser can be anyone in the workplace and if you are experiencing unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or of a sexist nature, you should be able to get your employer to stop it.
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in an ideal world you should really get your employer to stop it. host: we are talking about just the federal workplace -- the eeoc covers the private workplace as well. guest: yes. we were created to implement the 1964 civil rights act. that was the major civil rights act in this country saying to private employers, any employer with 15 or more employees, you may not discriminate waste on on race,based religion, national origin, sex, disability or age. this is any private employer with more than 15 employees is subject to this law. has 53c has 50 feet -- offices around the country ready to help anyone who has experienced discrimination. you go to the website eeoc.gov,
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there is an 800 number. we will do everything we can. host: how does a federal agency stop sexual harassment in the private work place? guest: the law is set to govern the private workplace and you can bring your employer to court and get the court to stop it or we can come in and try to settle it before. let's be clear. the law can only do so much. we as a government enforcement agency can only do so much. we can do a lot -- millions of dollars we have gotten for women in cases -- but that is still the tip of the iceberg. there is something new that we are doing. we are trying to get out to employers and say we will work with you to stop this bad behavior from happening before it becomes illegal.
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two weeks ago we rolled out a new type of training, respectful workplace is training for employees and supervisors to teach people how to be respectful in the workplace, to teach supervisors how to deal with the complaint. most supervisors, if someone comes forward and says, john is sexually harassing me, john is asking me for a date and i've told him no and he keeps coming on to me, have training so that supervisor takes that complaint as a gift. instead of saying i do not want to start my day with this complaint, instead to teach that supervisor to say thank you for coming forward and being brave enough to come forward and here's what i'm going to do to deal with that. most supervisors are not going to know how to do that unless they are trained.
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in the new training we just rolled out is designed to treat that. host: our phone lines are lighting up. we have divided the lines by women and men great dial in on your lines. we want to know what you think. dblum, the usael today has the headline "the weinstein affect." 'sw many cases does the eeoc the related to sexual harassment each year and has the number gone up in recent weeks? guest: it takes a while for charges to come in so i cannot say whether charges have come up. i can tell you there is been a four fold increase in our web traffic on the issue of sexual harassment. people are looking for information. we get about 12,000 charges a
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harassment,based the reality is that most people do not ever even bring the legal charge. most people stay silent. peopleearch shows 15% of will openly file a legal charge. our number is not at all the large number that is out there. a statistic that was sobering to with myi worked republican colleagues on a study of workplace harassment, that report is on our website as well, it turns out that about 70% of people who experienced harassment in the workplace never tell anybody in the workplace -- they tell their friends and family, but they never complain, not to their supervisor or hr.
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most people stay silent and they are staying silent because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they come forward with their complaint. they know that complaint is not going to be treated as a gift, thank you for coming forward. we have to change that culture. host: do you think it is changing with the weinstein affect? this is an abc/washington post poll that was just taken. a sharp increase in americans who say sexual harassment is a serious problem. in 2011, 40 7% said it was a serious problem. now, 64%. guest: people of asked me whether i think this is a tipping point. i say we need two tipping points. the first tipping point is in naming the problem. hashtag has been so important.
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tipping point is speaking out. the second tipping point has to be change. actual change that employers make in their workplaces so women and men -- 16% of our charges come from men -- so people feel safe and coming out. that is the second tipping point. i am hopeful we are getting there. the first tipping point will bring us to the second. it has to be sustained and it has to be because employers step action, reachegic out to the eeoc as well as other partners, to actually make a change. host: will have a conversation "ere on the "washington journal for the next few hours.
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she had the nail right on the head. that pushed me right out of the workplace because i was afraid the men would continue to do what they were doing to me. it got to the point where i was menafraid to even work with because i knew the kind of things they were doing and they were not getting in trouble for. it made it where even if i told, it would still see my fault because i was looking too pretty that day. maybe i was walking a different way. i never could figure out why they always did that to me. it got me to a point where i was too afraid to even venture into an opportunity that involved a man. host: when was this happening, what years? caller: up until maybe last
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year? last year was the last straw, his privateulled part out directly in front of me. it was so creepy that all i could do was grabbed my stuff and leave and i never went back because it creeped me out so bad. i am too old to keep going through this. it has been happening all through my 20's, 30's, 40's, here i am 50 years old, they are still doing it. i cannot take it anymore. keep -- if ich to want to work, i have to deal with the creepiness of a man. like, listen, you could find something with all women. that is a hard job to find. you're never going to find that. mostly men are in every position. a woman is not safe.
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it is not of the woman to say i do not trust this guy, he is making me uncomfortable. you do not do that. you bow out gracefully. guest: this is precisely the story we do not want to have our daughters and granddaughters having to deal with. we want to stop it now for everybody, whether you're 50, 40, 30, 20, or 15. the survey shows that most women do not report -- why not? because of fear. the first fears they will not be believed, it will be trivialized, they will say what were you doing, let's talk about your part in this. fear of being blamed.
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,hen fear of nothing happening which is clearly what has happened in so many work places. third, even if something does happen, you are lucky to be in a place with a stop the harassment, fear of retaliation, professional or social. how do we stop this fear, we have this story not happen? the employer, the person who is running that business has to realize that it is costly to the business cannot find out if harassment is happening and to stop it. the one cost that businesses often think about is if i get sued, i will have to spend money. that is true. are in direct financial causes that are happening to businesses across this country every day. those are the costs on workplace productivity and health of the target of the harassment,
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someone who is seeing the target and had been working at to this have feltd also uncomfortable. job turnover -- people leave, if they can, economically. businesseser level, are losing good people to their competitors at the level they are not as caring as much as their people, it still affects them if someone gets up and leaves and they have to hire someone else. there is a huge human, moral, and financial cost to employers not taking proactive steps
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it was his last day at the job, and invited me out. he said there was other people that would be there. there were not. it was just him and die. he proceeded to drug my drink in a restaurant and take me against my will for about a day and a half. i did not report it because i blocked it out for a most five years, and then i finally did work up the nerve to file a police report, but really didn't get anywhere. at one point, i looked him up online, and he had some kind of tracking software where he turned around and facebook friended me out of sarcasm, bullying type of thing. what i wanted to share is even though i did not get anywhere
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legally, it put me on a rocky road where it took a lot of effort on my part, but i took my expense, turned it around, and made myself be strong, and now i am an environmentalist, a political activist, and i do the best i can every day to always improve and always learn, and now i am sharing. it took a long time, but thank you to you, your show, and to everyone else who is sharing. you for calling in this morning, kathy. what about statutes of limitations? guest: in the employment context, there is a shorter statute of limitations. a police report, you can file and they should be able to do things even years later. in an employment setting, you have a little less than one year from the time the harassment happened to maintain your legal
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right. 300 days in most states. within that amount of time you have to come to us. if for asthma and has been -- if harrassment and has been happening for a long time, the only thing that has to happen within 300 days is the last incident of harassment. that is what matters legally. just to stress, the employers, they should want to know about something that happened five years ago. not in terms of the legal liability, in terms of the economic smartness of trying to stop it. surveys show that the impact on your workforce's health and productivity is huge -- millions of dollars. employers have to realize that even if they do not have a daily
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-- deluge of complaints, they need to remember that 70% of people are not even complaining. if they want to know what is going on in their workplace, they have to do an anonymous survey of their employees. they have to send out a survey that says not have you experienced sexual harassment. they have to send a survey that lists 10 or 12 behaviors and say have you experienced any of these behaviors? academics have figured out these surveys. that would let an employer know what is happening and can you imagine the impact on a workforce if they get a survey that says, anonymously, please fill out whether this has happened to you because the
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leadership of this company cares about making it not happen. the employer will get information and the employer will be sending a message -- enough. we are not going to tolerate this. host: a washington post/abc poll asked this question about two women, if they have ever received unwanted sexual advances from a man. more than half site unwanted sexual advances, including three in 10 from a coworker. when you investigate claims, do you talk to the harasser? guest: yes. when someone files a charge, one of the first things we do in many cases is offer free mediation for the employer to comment, the charging party, and it could be that as the first time the employer knows about it and can deal with it through the mediation we offer. we will also investigate. investigation means you call witnesses, you start with the employer, the supervisor, we
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will interview the alleged harasser, what we do is determine whether we think there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination happened. we're not making a final judgment, we are saying we think -- we are saying do we think discrimination happened. if we say we think discrimination happened, we issue a finding of reasonable cause and then we have a more formal settlement procedure. in one year, we got $40 million in damages for people who had filed charges, just an informal settlement. if that settlement does not take, if the employer does not settle, then the employees allowed to go to court and continue this in court. we at the eeoc can also bring cases in court. we have brought many cases. we do not have enough resources
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to do what congress has told us we have to do. congress tells us what to do, does not always give us enough money to do it. we help as many people as we can. often people come through our doors and go from us to court. host: we are talking with commissioner feldblum of the equal opportunity employment commission. began serving in 2010, confirmed for a second term that will end on july 1, 2018. al in wisconsin, good morning. caller: i think women are being subjected to way too much harassment in the workplace. i'm intimately knowledgeable about the situation. it has affected my family and i am sorry to say this, the eeoc
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is a paper tiger because my poor other half was subjected to over 20 years of stuff like this and it is not being resolved. i am passionate about this. i sympathize with every poor woman that is calling and looking for help and assistance and god bless you, please help them. please stop this. please, gentlemen, wake up and act like gentlemen. treat your other half for your fairer sex as an equal because we all deserve fairness that we should give, we should receive. i am sorry to say i do not like the song the beatles did years ago, woman is just a derogatory term. men that feel that way are immature babies. host: commissioner, when you talk to these alleged
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harassers, males, what do they tell you, why do they harass? guest: i am so glad that al noted -- while i would not call the eeoc a paper tiger, we would be a stronger tiger with more money. part of what we are trying to do -- we know we cannot help every -- sec. sanders: hey, guys. happy friday. good afternoon. it is great to see so many family faces in here, not that that is different than normal. obviously i am referring to the children around the room. welcome theed and kids of the press corps to the white house. they will love trick-or-treating in the executive office building, and i look forward to

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