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Re: Policy Brief No. 36

Policy Summary: On April 12, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an expansion of an ongoing DOJ sexual harassment program. The initial program, announced in October 2017, is an initiative to combat sexual harassment in the housing market and protect women from harassment from landlords, property managers and other employees of rental property owners in the rental of housing units and properties. That initiative will now be expanded to include programs to increase awareness and reporting of sexual harassment incidents in housing. On April 30, 2018, DOJ set forth a separate and new set of directives to help “enforce the Department’s zero – tolerance policy for sexual harassment” among DOJ employees for their on – duty and off – duty conduct and in places outside DOJ workplaces. LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE, LEARN MORE

Analysis: It appears that the Department of Justice is trying to  do its part to respond to the Me Too Movement and the wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations against men in leadership positions and positions of power The two separate initiatives put forth  are small steps but i a welcome effort by the DOJ  to confront sexual harassment. The current global movement seems to have now come to DOJ.

With the DOJ  program that looks  into sexual harassment and assault incidents in the housing arena the hope is that the highly successful reporting and awareness tools DOJ tested and utilized there (they were first implemented in pilot programs in Washington, D.C. and Western Virginia) can be used in other potential programs to combat other sexual misconduct incidents in other areas. The DOJ program helped made it easier to women to report incidents anonymously and they also emphasized ways to connect victims with resources to help them.

The DOJ hopes that its own internal sexual harassment policy  can serve as a model for companies and other government agencies. It hopes the policy will demonstrate that sexual harassment and assault allegations can be investigated seriously and resolved in an even – handed and consistent manner. That had not been the case before at DOJ and other workplaces. Prior incidents at DOJ were often ignored, and even if they were investigated, the punishments meted out varied wildly (ranging from two week suspensions to merely moving the accused to a different office/unit).

Take Action:

#MeToo Movement – website of movement geared to demonstrate prevalence of sexual harassment and violence and to help victims of those incidents.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – infopage on sexual harassment and allegations in housing.

This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact Rod@USResistnews.org.

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