Katz Banks Kumin partner Debra Katz testified at a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Public Briefing, “Federal Me Too: Examining Sexual Harassment in Government Workplaces.”
The USCCR is an independent, bipartisan agency that advises the President and Congress on civil rights enforcement. This session served as an opportunity for the Commission to hear from members of the EEOC, academia, community members, government workers, and legal experts about where protections fall short for federal employees who are victims of sexual harassment.
Ms. Katz spoke about the major differences between representing a client who has been a victim of harassment at a private employer versus a government agency. She elaborated on the difficulties of taking on federal cases, including: the incredibly short statutes of limitations, the cumbersome complaint procedures and years-long resolution times, and the relatively small economic benefit to representing federal employees. The reality of this situation is that most plaintiff-side attorneys have little choice but to decline representing federal workers in workplace harassment matters. Ms. Katz called for reforms to these laws to enhance protections for government employees.
Find the agenda to the session here, and watch Ms. Katz’s testimony below, beginning at 1:56:10.