SU professor named to EEOC task force on workplace harassment
management professor Jerry Carbo, who has researched workplace harassment and
bullying for the past 20 years, recently received unexpected but welcome recognition
for his work—appointment to a new federal task force on the issue.
Carbo is one of 16 people named
by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to its Select Task
Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. The group includes academics,
plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys, employers and representatives of employee
advocacy groups and organized labor.
The EEOC enforces federal laws
prohibiting discrimination in employment.
“This is an exciting
opportunity. I am extremely honored to have been chosen,” said Carbo, an
associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and an
attorney. “It is an incredible group of people I’ll be working with.”
EEOC Chair Jenny Yang created
the task force “to examine…workplace harassment in all its forms and look for
ways by which it might be prevented and addressed,” adding that it “remains a
persistent problem” in the United States. Carbo agrees with that assessment.
“I’ve worked for 20 years in
trying to eliminate harassment in the workplace. In that time, the problem
hasn’t gotten better; if anything, it’s gotten worse,” he said.
Workplace bullying is a
billion-dollar issue for American organizations, Carbo said, with problems ranging
from loss of productivity and health issues to workplace violence. “The effects
are devastating. When left unchecked, the end result often is a true disaster
for the target—either leaving their job or suffering emotionally,
psychologically or physically.”
Carbo expects the task force to
meet several times over the next year, including some public meetings. “We have
a broad mission, and will be looking at any number of ways to address the
problem,” he said. “It could be incentives for employers to focus more on the
issue and advice on how they can do that. We may need to look at whether
enforcement needs to be tightened or whether penalties need to be expanded.
There’s no one answer to this.
“My great hope is that this will
at least be the first step in really addressing the problem of harassment in
the workplace—not what to do when it happens, but to keep it from happening
in the first place.”
Read the article in the Central Penn Business Journal