Tags: sexual harrasment | national parks

National Parks: Sexual Harassment Running Wild in 'Protected' Spaces

Sexual harassment has marred the experiences of female staffers working in national parks like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 05:32 PM

Reports of widespread sexual harassment, bullying, and other inappropriate conduct among national parks staff have been reported to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Employees at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon, among others, have made allegations that male employees are harassing, bullying, and otherwise mistreating female employees at the parks, The Associated Press reported. These new allegations were the latest in a string of other similar claims that have come to light in recent months.

“There seems to be some patterns here that are just not anything we should come close to tolerating,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and committee chairman, according to the AP.

Deputy director of operations for the National Park Service Michael Reynolds called the allegations “more than a wake-up call.” AP reported that Reynolds told the committee, “They presented us with clear and undeniable evidence that ... we must extend the same commitment to the employees of the National Park Service as we make to the protection of our nation’s most extraordinary places.”

Dozens of women have come forward claiming they were pressured for sex by co-workers, threatened or punished if they said no, and in at least one case, watched in the shower. Hostile work environments exist for women at many of the 413 national parks run by the U.S. government.

Park Service Director Johnathan Jarvis said that all employees have been briefed about taking complaints seriously and taking steps to end harassment, but an agency task force found similar conditions at Yosemite and Yellowstone 16 years ago, making some lawmakers skeptical that allegations will be dealt with now. In the past, many who had complaints made about them were reassigned or even promoted in spite of the allegations.

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Reports of widespread sexual harassment, bullying, and other inappropriate conduct among national parks staff have been reported to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
sexual harrasment, national parks
288
2016-32-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 05:32 PM
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