The Administration of “Zero Tolerance” Sexual Harassment Policies in Law Enforcement Agencies




Pribble, Michael T.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Sexual harassment discrimination is one of the most controversial, yet fastest growing, areas of employment discrimination law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees based on sex, with respect to “compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” (p. 1). This study examines how law enforcement agencies throughout Texas are addressing sexual harassment complaints, investigations, training, and policies. Training on sexual harassment has increased in police agencies typically starting at the academy level. The amount and scope of this training is questioned by many who believe that law enforcement administrators do not spend the necessary time training their departments on what constitutes sexual harassment and point out that many agencies still do not have comprehensive policies on sexual or any other illegal harassment. This has led to an increase of officers and civilian employees filing federal lawsuits against law enforcement agencies, especially those that do nothing about this ongoing problem. This leadership white paper assesses the prevalence of sexual harassment in Texas law enforcement and the need for “zero tolerance” policies and annual training for law enforcement agencies. This study will also look at three counter positions against “zero tolerance” policies on sexual harassment. At the conclusion, the research will show that comprehensive policies and quality annual training programs have successfully combated harassment in the work place.


Sexual Harassment fo Juveniles