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Superintendent retires in wake of sexual harassment scandal

One of the duties of every Texas employer is to provide employees with a safe work environment free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation. When a worker makes a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination, it is the employer's duty to investigate the situation and take action accordingly. When complaints of these and other prohibited activities are ignored or "swept under the rug," it often passively encourages such behavior and creates a hostile work environment.

Reportedly, this is why the superintendent of a popular tourist attraction in the southwest part of the United States decided to retire from the National Park Service instead of being relocated. He made this choice in the wake of a federal investigation in which it was discovered that employees were being sexually harassed unchecked. He was not personally implicated in any of the activities, but it was determined that he failed to protect the victims and take action to make it stop.

The investigation discovered that female employees at the Grand Canyon were retaliated against if they refused to have sex with their male colleagues. The soon-to-be former superintendent attempted to convince investigators that he and his deputy attempted to deal with the problem, but apparently, the evidence did not bear that out. Both of them became subject to disciplinary action on May 1. 

These types of actions are often taken against employers who fail to protect their employees from a hostile work environment. Texas workers who are victims of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation retain the right to pursue any legal remedies available to them -- especially if their employers failed to properly handle the matter. Everyone deserves the chance to earn a living in a safe workplace.

Source: ABC News, "Grand Canyon to Have New Leader Following Harassment Report", Felicia Fonseca, May 17, 2016

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