Florida residents concerned about sexual harassment at work should be aware of the Forest Service’s new initiative meant to curb inappropriate attention. A newly appointed Forest Service director has promised to enact policies and adjust existing processes to keep workers safe from harassment.
The new Forest Service director spent decades with the agency before becoming a director. Before her promotion, she worked as a forester and wildfire fighter. She is no stranger to workplace harassment and said she knows how it feels to encounter discrimination in her workplace. She also stated she understands why employees fear retaliation. Under the new director, the Forest Service’s initiatives include updating the anti-harassment policy and hiring outside contractors to investigate complaints of harassment and sexual misconduct.
The Forest Service has a history with both sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. The agency has dealt with class-action lawsuits brought by women who felt they had been passed over for promotions, and the Forest Service’s oversight panel has held hearings meant to address complaints of bullying and discrimination. Forest Service employees have long complained that they do not feel the agency is able to properly address complaints. The agency has pledged to make improvements after the USDA Office of Inspector General released a report showing employees’ distrust.
However, some Forest Service employees do not believe the new director’s plans are good enough. One states that the new chief’s action plan simply makes the agency appear as if it is addressing harassment and bullying, but employees still need to fear retaliation if they submit a report.
Employees seeking Boca Raton, Florida sexual harassment legal assistance may want to consider an attorney with experience in workplace harassment. In the event of wrongful termination, an attorney may be able to prove that the employee was retaliated against for filing a harassment report.