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California-based military leader faces sexual harassment claims

Southern California is replete with military installments and various government offices that are designed and strategically placed to keep Americans safe. Whether they are working against threats that are either foreign or domestic, American military personnel are expected to conduct themselves with the highest levels of appropriate behavior during their active duty and civilian lives. However, not even an organization as highly controlled and steeped in personal accountability as the military is able to rid itself of damaging incidents of sexual harassment.

Most recently the commander of the Boxer, an American assault ship, was relieved of his duties due to allegations of creating a hostile work environment on the vessel. Specifically, the former commander allegedly asked female members of his crew if they were using birth control because he was concerned that he had previously lost sailors to pregnancy. He also allegedly allowed his temper to override conversations with his crew, inappropriately touched subordinates and generally displayed poor personal control in his role as a military leader.

While the military has its own protocols for managing instances of harassment within its ranks, no person has the right to subject another to inappropriate sexual conduct. In a workplace where men and women come together to perform tasks for their employers it is expected that a professional and respectful atmosphere should be secured. When individuals violate that expectation others are left fighting to do their jobs in unpleasant situations.

As the military hears out this matter regarding the Boxer's former commander, individuals in other industries may relate to the plights of his former subordinates. Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace. Individuals who would like to learn more about how to address sexual harassment issues can choose to work with legal professionals who work in the employee rights field.

Source: LA Times, "Captain of San Diego-based warship relieved of duty," Tony Perry, Nov. 23, 2014

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