Amid pressure and criticism from Congress, the Pentagon finally released a formal report on sexual harassment and the military last week. The results were shocking – the U.S. military fired or disciplined nearly 500 workers for sexual harassment in a 12-month period. Several branches of the military and the U.S. government have gotten serious flack for their handling of sexual harassment claims.
According to the report, there were 1,366 reports of sexual harassment filed in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, involving 496 offenders across the armed services and National Guard. The data reported that nearly 13 percent of the complaints involved repeat offenders. 60 percent of the complaints were substantiated.
Most of the sexual harassment cases involved a younger, female officer being harassment by a more senior, male official. The majority of the offensive behavior — which ranged from crude comments to unwanted sexual attention — occurred on military bases. Various punishments for the offenders included court-martial, firing, pay cuts, letters of reprimand, and rank demotions.
Unfortunately, officials also acknowledged that many instances of harassment and assault go unreported. The report also said that the military services are aware of a large number of repeat offenders and “are taking appropriate action.”
Officials said they hope to use the data to begin to resolve any problems with department policy or programs.
Recent public cases include Capt. Gregory McWherter, of the Navy, who was accused of tolerating sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
However, new initiatives such as a sexual harassment prevention program spearheaded by of the General Dawne Deskins of the New York Air National Guard hopes to eliminate assault and offensive behavior in the military.
Every work in every job deserves a workplace free of harassment. Victims of sexual harassment in New York City should contact one of our lawyers right away. You may be eligible for compensation.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 for a free consultation.