Survey at FEMA Uncovers Civil Rights Violations
In early December 2020, FEMA released the results of a survey pertaining to harassment and discrimination within the agency. The results showed that out of nearly half of agency employees who responded to the survey, 20% of FEMA workers have experienced a civil rights violation due to their sex. Almost the same number of employees said their rights were violated because of ethnicity or race. And the survey showed that 12% of women and 4% of men experienced hostile-work-environment sexual harassment and/or quid-pro-quo harassment. Twenty nine percent of women and 12% of men reported harassment and/or discrimination based on their gender, including hurtful comments. Despite these statistics, the survey also revealed that less than half of employees that experienced these violations reported the incidents to management, while only some told another person. One-fifth of the survey respondents did not tell anyone. Following the analysis of the survey, FEMA announced a culture improvement action plan to prevent these civil rights violations. The plan includes training for leadership on how to manage harassment issues, transparency on the subject, and monitoring incidents of harassment or discrimination.