People in Pennsylvania should know that they have a right not to be sexually harassed in the workplace. That includes people who work for one of the largest employers in the country: the US military. Unfortunately, sometimes the law is not applied in a way that reflects the intent behind it. Some critics have said that the military still does not take sexual harassment and even sexual assault seriously enough.
Shining a light on a big problem
Recently, this issue has been getting a lot of attention. Lawmakers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have been critical of the way the U.S. military handles claims of sexual assault and harassment. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Gillibrand is right. For example, recently the Pentagon Inspector General concluded that a former civilian leader in the organization had been harassing women for years. This included photographing women’s backsides and even giving women unwanted massages.
The military runs on rank and demands perfect discipline. If the organization is not taking these claims seriously, it creates a perfect environment for abuse. Now retired, the one-time head of the Missile Defense Agency at the Pentagon has been accused of sexually harassing women for more than five years. This is unacceptable behavior in any organization. The vice admiral, who is the director of the agency, is showing signs of taking this issue seriously. He has initiated a review of policies and training within Missile Defense Agency.
People who have experienced sexual harassment or assault on the job need effective legal representation. No one should be subjected to a hostile workplace or one where healthy boundaries are not respected. There are legal structures in place to protect Americans against this kind of treatment.