A recent report delivered by the U.S. Department of Interior suggests that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has fallen short of its duties responding to reports of sexual harassment in the workplace by individuals working within Colorado River Indian Tribes organizations. According to the report, the Bureau did not properly respond to the seriousness of these harassment allegations in the workplace.
One of the key areas where the BIA drew a distinction in the complaints was suggesting that it had limited power to discipline the individuals accused of harassment because the subjects of the harassment were not also employees. These claims focused on online interactions between a BIA employee and other members of a tribe. In its initial response, the BIA claimed that because the individuals who received the harassing material were not also employees of the BIA, they lacked either the authority or obligation to punish the suspect.
The Department of Interior took issue with this claim, looking to crack down on harassing behavior on every front as the public conversation about workplace harassment is again on the front pages of many news outlets.
If you experience harassment in the workplace, you have a right and an obligation to stand up against it. Even if you are not an employee of a particular company or agency, if you experience sexual harassment in a professional environment, or if an individual harasses you while in some professional capacity, an attorney can help you understand your options. An experienced lawyer can help you assess your rights in the professional world and identify strategies for pursuing justice.
Source: KTAR News, “Federal officials are working to target sexual harassment in Arizona Tribes,” accessed Oct. 27, 2017