Allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace need to be taken seriously and be thoroughly investigated and dealt with in an appropriate manner. Offensive sexual comments, inappropriate touching or demanding sexual favors can all lead to a toxic work environment that has a seriously damaging effects on the victim of harassment. It is important to hold those who sexually harass co-workers responsible, including taking the appropriate disciplinary actions.
The Stillwater, Minnesota prison warden has been fired from his job after being placed on an "investigative leave" back in August. According to the State Department of Corrections communications director, the prison warden violated workplace anti-discrimination policies and committed sexual harassment. In addition, he violated workplace rules including the workplace personal code of conduct policies and electronic communications policies. He has 30 days to appeal the decision.
The warden had been the subject of previous disciplinary actions at two other correctional facilities. These included allegations of sexual harassment and other conduct that was deemed to be inappropriate. This resulted in a one-day suspension. In addition, after having a romantic relationship with a co-worker, he was issued a written reprimand.
Sexual harassment can be incredibly harmful to the recipient of the harassment. Victims may feel humiliation, shame and anger. All of this can create a hostile working environment to the point where employees feel forced to quit or are fired in retaliation. It is important that those who sexually harass others in the workplace are held accountable for their actions. However, sometimes disciplinary action isn't enough. Those who have been the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace may want to seek the advice of an attorney who can assess their case to determine if legal action can be taken.
Source: Fox 9, "Stillwater prison warden fired for inappropriate workplace behavior," Rose Heaphy, Oct. 20, 2016