Sex Discrimination

Agencies' Handling of Sexual Harassment and Related Complaints Gao ID: T-OSI-94-22 March 8, 1994

Employees at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are reluctant to use the agency's complaint process to deal with sexual harassment because they fear reprisal from managers and because they believe that investigators lack objectivity, sensitivity, and confidence. GAO found that Office of Professional Responsibility investigators sometimes did not obtain all corroborating evidence when looking into complaints and that differences in the rights and remedies afforded by equal employment opportunity and Office of Professional Responsibility investigations were not communicated to the employees. Finally, although training on the agency's sexual-harassment-complaints process was made available to all employees, many persons said that they had received no specialized training. GAO believes that DEA will continue to have problems with sexual harassment unless it changes the way in which it handles sexual harassment allegations.

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