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Statement of Stephen Dwyer, General Counsel, American Staffing Association 

Industry Leaders Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention
March 20, 2019

The American Staffing Association (ASA) is a national trade association comprised of member staffing firms whose 15,000-plus offices recruit, screen, hire, and place employees on temporary assignments with clients on an as-needed basis. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. ASA valued the opportunity to participate in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace (Select Task Force), and very much appreciates the opportunity to participate in above-referenced roundtable.

Temporary staffing is one of America's largest service industries, employing nearly 16 million temporary workers annually. Staffing firms play a vital role in the U.S. economy by providing employment flexibility for workers and just-in-time labor for businesses. Staffing firms provide workers with jobs, training, choice of assignments and work, flexibility, and a bridge to permanent employment for those who are just starting out, changing jobs, or out of work. Temporary workers work in virtually every job category, including industrial labor, office support, health care, engineering, science, and information technology, and various professional and managerial positions. 

Consistent with the EEOC's and the Select Task Force's goal of addressing and preventing workplace harassment, ASA has endeavored to educate its members about the nature, causes, consequences, and prevention of harassment-in all of its forms-particularly with respect to temporary and contract workers. To that end, in the last two years alone, ASA has engaged in the following:

  • Published over 100 workplace harassment-related articles in our electronic newsletter, magazine, and other periodicals
  • Provided a free video entitled, Workplace Harassment: How You Can Protect Against It, to help members educate their employees
  • Included two sessions at our annual 2018 Staffing Law Conference for staffing firms: Workplace Harassment, Part I-Training and Prevention; and Workplace Harassment, Part II-Investigation and Remediation Measures
  • Featured the session, Sexual Harassment: Protect Your Company and Your Employees, during Staffing World 2018, ASA's annual convention
  • Included harassment-related legal information in our employment law certification programs for staffing professionals
  • Hosted seven free harassment-related webinars in 2018, including a four-part sensitivity training series covering:
    • Tackling Workplace Bullying
    • Fundamental Diversity and Inclusion Techniques
    • Workplace Issues Related to Sexual Harassment
    • Ageism and Racism in the Workplace

The sensitivity training series, in particular, was designed to help staffing professionals appreciate and seek out diversity; develop better awareness of group dynamics and their own behavior, interpersonal traits, and role within a group; and develop more productive working relationships.

ASA members value and have extensively utilized these resources, and ASA and our member firms remain steadfast in our commitment to address and prevent workplace harassment.

Thank you for your continued leadership in this critically important area, and thank you for the opportunity to participate in the EEOC's March 20 roundtable discussion.