The New York Times had an interesting story recently about forest service workers who face alleged harassment and abuse on the job.
According to the Times, current and former female firefighters with the United States Forest Service have filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture alleging that they suffered job discrimination, harassment and sexual abuse at work.
The women said that they have filed complaints with supervisors and the agency has failed to take action. Experts said that the lawsuit might be the first step in an attempt at a class action case. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of hundreds of workers with the Forest Service’s Region 5, which encompasses 18 national forests in California.
The Forest Service said that it was going to review the case before making a comment. “The Forest Service takes these and all allegations of civil rights violations very seriously and is committed to providing a work environment that is free of harassment and discrimination,” a spokesperson with the agency said.
One of the firefighters described the work environment as a “frat-like” atmosphere, according to the Times. She said that at one point a male co-worker attempted to put her in a chokehold and rape her. She also allegedly faced lewd comments and was called a “whore”.
Who Should I Talk to If I Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work?
It should be noted that hostile work environments involve an employer allowing for unwanted sexual behaviors, including advances, physical contact, remarks and photographs, to occur within a workplace. This is illegal.
If you have experienced issues like this at work, call us today to discuss your options. Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in any form.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys