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EEOC starts cracking down on teen-employee harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Now's a good time to make sure your organization is complying with child labor laws and doing all it can to prevent harassment against young employees.

Why? With sexual harassment and discrimination increasing against teens in the workplace, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commis-sion (EEOC) is beefing up its anti-bias enforcement efforts.

The agency just launched a new awareness campaign dubbed "Youth@Work." The effort centers on a new Web site (www.youth.eeoc.gov) and includes presentations at high schools nationwide. The EEOC is also distributing materials to teach young employees about their rights.

The EEOC says the number of bias charges brought by 15- to 17-year-old employees is rising, particularly in industries that tend to employ young people, including restaurants, retailers, hotels and movie theaters.

Bottom line: If your organization employs young people, train managers (who may be young themselves) how to recognize and avoid harassing or discriminatory behavior. Clarify your code of conduct with younger employees.

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