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National Park Service plagued by harassment

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard testimony last week regarding rampant sexual harassment, abuse, intimidation, and misconduct throughout the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is the federal authority that manages the nation's federal parks like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite.

The committee heard testimony and reviewed reports that detailed hundreds of cases. Numerous reports implicated many federal parks, including Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.

There are numerous stories of male employees harassing and intimidating female employees. Moreover, there are even allegations that male superiors retaliated against female employees when they refused sexual advances.

One particular story involved a female employee at the Grand Canyon who reported a male park ranger who stood outside of her bathroom window and watched her shower. She reported the incident and that male employee had repeated complaints of voyeuristic activity, but no action was ever taken. He received regular promotions and retired a deputy superintendent.

According to a report commissioned by the NPS, the agency admits it is plagued by a culture of harassment but that it pledged to implement programs to curb the behavior. Some people are skeptical because 16 years ago a taskforce had uncovered similar findings.

If you were a victim of harassment in the workplace, then you may want to speak with an attorney. You could have an actionable claim for compensation. No matter who your boss or colleague is, you are entitled to a safe work environment. No one is permitted to take that from you. A lawyer can help you enforce your rights to ensure that you go to a job where you feel safe and comfortable.

Source: The Guardian, "Sexual harassment reportedly rampant among US national parks employees,"  Sept. 23, 2016

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