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The Department of Labor Says It’s ‘Too Complex’ To Study Workplace Sexual Harassment, Rejecting Senator’s Request for More Info

In the last year, there have been steps forward in fighting the injustice of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.  However, there’s still some difficulty getting access to information about the realities of workplace harassment.

According to CNN, Democratic senators are seeking out information regarding sexual harassment, both the extent of and the financial aspect of it, across the corporate world across America. But now, it would seem that they have been told that they are not to be given this information as it has been deemed “too complex” to calculate.

In a letter provided to CNN by Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, acting Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner William Wiatrowski wrote, “The Department is committed to preventing and elimination workplace sexual harassment and understand your concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. However, collecting this information would be complex and costly. There are a number of steps involved in any new data collection, including consultation with experts, cognitive testing, data collection training and test collection. Once test collection is successful, there is an extensive clearance process before data collection can begin.”

Gillibrand and Sens. Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris went on record as being  disappointed in the Labor Department’s response and are asking them to reconsider their stance on the issue. 

Refinery29 posted a snippet of their letter stating the inaccuracies of their statement in regard to its complexity: “Another federal agency dedicated to the federal workforce, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), was in fact able to conduct this type of data collection and analysis starting in the 1980s. In an update to this study in 1994, the MSPB conservatively estimated that over the course of two years, sexual harassment in the federal workforce cost the government a total of $327.1 million as a result of job turnover, sick leave, and decreased productivity. Federal agencies were able to continue conducting surveys after this time. Surely the government’s capacity to collect data has only become more sophisticated over the past several decades.”

Hopefully, this isn’t the last you’ll hear about the hunt for information on this issue. 

I'm a writer from just outside Chicago. I graduated from Purdue University and have been writing for outlets such as HelloGiggles, Elite Daily and itsjustaboutwrite.com as well as my own blog www.gingerandchampagne.com since. I am always interested in cookies and dream about a One Direction reunion once a week. I can talk about books all day or how I want to marry Jake Gyllenhaal. Find me on Instagram and Twitter @missmeganmann.
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