One of the most sought after adventures in the world; it’s the Grand Canyon River trip. Water rafting in –what could be singlehandedly be called “one of the most relaxing places on earth.” Laying in the water craft, gives park visitors the opportunity to soak in the tranquility of the enormous canyons while internalizing the beauty of the white sudsy water, which softly plays its own tunes as it beats against the gigantic rocks. We may be surprised however when we catch a glimpse of the park’s female employees twerking to music as a raft passes by.
Yes you read correctly. Female employees twerking to dance music. This, and other types of behavior are exactly what has been going on amongst the employees at the Grand Canyon National Park in Flagstaff, Arizona. Other incidents of misconduct include sexual harassment; a supervisor grabbing the crotch of a contract employee and a boatman photographing a female employee under her skirt.
A recent report by a federal watchdog points out a past associating the Grand Canyon National Park river trips that involve male employees propositioning female associates, inappropriately touching them and making lewd comments.
The report was acquired by The Associated Press, following 13 Grand Canyon employees, both current and former who filed a complaint in September of 2014. The complaint indicated that women had been abused for over 15 years.
About 12 people have been slapped with some form of disciplinary action for sexual wrongdoings since 2003 which range from written reprimands to terminations. According to investigations, many of the purported incidents have gone unreported or were not sufficiently authenticated by managers.
When interviewed by investigators, a human resources representative who had been with the company for a long time said a “laissez faire” attitude exists of “what happens on the river, stays on the river”
The report does not specifically name the park employees, associated in the unlawful behavior. It simply targets trips that have been managed by Grand Canyon National Park. Private and self-guided or commercial river trips operated through various structures.
In an email statement directly made by NPS spokesman James Doyle, he addressed the situation, stating “No NPS employee should ever experience the kind of behavior outlined in the report, and it is even more disappointing because previous efforts to change the culture at the River District of the Grand Canyon failed to improve working conditions. The agency is mulling more changes, including requiring nightly check-in calls, having a supervisor on every river trip and establishing an ombudsman.”
Have you or someone you know been the victim of sexual harassment?
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If you or someone you know has experienced workplace sexual harassment, discrimination or working in a hostile job environment, then you should contact an NYC, NJ, PA sexual harassment, employment law attorney at the Derek Smith Law Group PLLC immediately.
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