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Eye On Boise

EEOC commissioner: Nation still plagued by huge number of workplace sexual harassment cases

Victoria Lipnic, EEOC commissioner, addresses the Andrus Center Conference on Women and Leadership in Boise (Betsy Russell)
Victoria Lipnic, EEOC commissioner, addresses the Andrus Center Conference on Women and Leadership in Boise (Betsy Russell)

Victoria Lipnic, commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – and a former assistant secretary of labor – said she was stunned when she arrived at the EEOC in 2010 and saw the huge number of sexual harassment complaints. That’s true still in every region of the nation, she said.

“If we wanted to, we could have a docket of nothing but sexual harassment cases,” she told the Andrus Center Conference on Women and Leadership today. “I look at some of the facts of these cases, and I think to myself, what do women have to do to be able to just go to work and do their jobs and not have to put up with some of this behavior?”

She told the largely female audience of more than 800, “You don’t have to put up with this. And so when you find yourself in situations that are either harassing, borderline assaulting, some very real assaulting, or even just really boorish behavior, you do have an outlet, and you should complain about it – and don’t be afraid to complain about it. Because unless and until more women do that, we really are sort of scratching our heads at the EEOC about what we can do.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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