Notable Sexual Harassment Cases You May Remember
We often think of harassment as an out of date issue, but in reality the new outlets for media make it ever prevelant in new ways. The Employees Harassment Checklist can help you determine if you have a situation like these brave women. These women spoke out when no one else would.
Jenson vs. Eveleth Taconite Company
The First Class Action Sexual Harassment Case in the US
This 1975 case was largely unknown when it actually happened but most of us now know of the trauma these women suffered, due in part to the film, “North Country.” The film was made shortly after Jenson FINALLY reached settlement in 1998. Over 20 years after she and her female co-workers suffered gross misuse and even stalking by their sexist co-workers and supervisors. This case showed that numbers really do matter.
It took almost ten years but Jenson never gave up and finally found a lawyer to take on Eveleth Taconite in 1984. In 1998 a settlement was reached in the amount of $3.5 million, and equally important paved the way for female workers in similar positions, to stand up and take action.
The Clarence Thomas Hearings
Most of us remember at least hearing about this case as it dominated the news for months. Anita Hill stunned the country when she came forward in 1991, and accused the would be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas of multiple counts of sexual harassment. The harassment which took place while the now Law professor Hill was still in school and subordinate to Thomas.
Hill’s bravery in coming forward, when faced with such a powerful and connected opponent, has given countless women faced with oppression the guts to speak up as well.
The Navy Tailhook “Gauntlet”
The dust had barely settled on the Thomas hearings, when yet another harassment case hit the government HARD. Paula Puopolo’s took her story to the news when no one would take her seriously. Puopolo had attended the Navy Tailhook convention in Las Vegas, where she alleged she had been forced down a long hallway lined by more than 200 intoxicated Naval Aviators. They groped and fondled her all the way down the hall until she was tossed to the ground.
When Puopolo gave up on her superiors handling the problem as they promised they would, and went public, she was blamed by Dick Cheney. The Vice President at the time told her, “Because of you I have to fire the Secretary of the Navy.”
Rear Admiral, Jack Snyder was forced out of the Navy as a result of his gross neglect of proper conduct and criminal sexual harassment.
Former Senator Bob Packwood
Packwoods BAD BEHAVIOR was so wide spread the NOW website (The National Organization for Women) created an entire section for the Senator’s victims. Packwood harassed dozens of his campaign workers, the case eventually leading to his 1995 resignation.
The Chairmen of the Ethics Committee at the time was quoted saying, “No work-place in America ought to tolerate the kind of offensive, degrading sexual misconduct that the Ethics Committee finds Senator Packwood to be guilty of. And it certainly cannot be tolerated in the United States Senate either.”
There are new laws this year that further the scope of harassment cases at work