A sexual harassment complaint has been brought against a commanding officer with the United States Navy’s Blue Angels, the precision flying team that performs at highly publicized events each year. The commanding officer has been removed from his duties and reassigned, pending an investigation into allegations that he allowed sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace between 2008 and 2012.
According to a public statement from the Navy, the officer is believed to have tolerated and even encouraged various types of inappropriate sexual behavior, ranging from sexually explicit jokes to the sharing of pornography. The investigation by the Navy’s inspector general is ongoing.
While branches of the military are especially rank-oriented, perhaps making military members particularly susceptible to the intimidation often involved in sexual harassment, any kind of work environment can become hostile.
Business owners and managers are in positions of power that should not be abused. Employers have a legal obligation to properly address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, employees often feel pressure from their employers and co-workers to ignore sexual harassment and other types of workplace misconduct. This can lead to a hostile work environment that continues indefinitely until a complaint is brought through the appropriate channels.
If you are dealing with workplace harassment, then you may want to speak with an employment rights attorney. Hostile work environments can make victimized workers feel alone, but that is not the case. You have a right to a safe work environment free of hostility and inappropriate sexual behavior, and there are people who want to ensure that your rights are protected.
Source: New Jersey Herald, “Complaint: Ex-Blue Angels head led lewd workplace,” April 23, 2014