Wednesday, April 13, 2016

National Park Service chief expands horny harassers probe

After falling under scrutiny about the way it has handled long-term sexual harassment at the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service is expanding its probe to see if the case represents a broader cultural crisis within the park system. “I hope that what occurred at the Grand Canyon is an anomaly, but I don’t know that,” Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service told High Country News in an interview at his office in Washington, D.C. “We have to find out if there are similar situations in other parts of the park system.” At the urging of members of Congress, Jarvis plans to conduct a survey of the entire agency, though no details about the survey have been provided. Jarvis also sent a memo to his staff of more than 20,000 on March 15, requesting that employees with sexual harassment complaints reach out to supervisors. If they fail to get adequate responses, he urges them to appeal to other supervisors or their local equal opportunity contacts.  In January, the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General released a report about sexual harassment by boatmen at the Grand Canyon’s river district for almost two decades. In February, the Park Service released a written statement that it had “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment. Since then, Grand Canyon superintendent Dave Uberuaga abolished the Grand Canyon River District, and intermountain regional director Sue Masica has been working on a larger plan to address sexual harassment through training and more active responses to complaints in the future. The shocking investigation found women were repeatedly propositioned for sex, harassed by male boatmen and supervisors and retaliated against after reporting incidents to management...more

If this were a private sector firm, would they be allowed to just undertake an internal survey?  Not hardly.

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