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Ron Paul says sex harassment victims must share the burden of finding a solution

Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, stood by his former statements that the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace should share the responsibility for finding an answer to the problem. He also stood by his idea that society as a whole shouldn’t have to bare the weight of finding a treatment, or cure, for AIDS sufferers.

When Ron Paul first made these statements he was writing a book called “Freedom Under Siege: The US Constitution after 200-Plus Years.” The book was published in 1987. In the book, he points out that the morals of the harasser can’t be defended, but in the same breathe he wonders why the “harassee” escapes some responsibility about the matter.

Later in the book, Paul mentions AIDS victims are indeed victims, but only of their own life style. On Fox News, Ron Paul was asked if he still believes that sexual harassment victims are still partially responsible and if AIDS victims are still a burden to main-stream society, he answered – “yes.”

On the topic of sexual harassment, Paul did try to make the difference between verbal and physical sexual harassment but remarked that neither abuse should be punishable with a federal law. Paul also remarked that people have the right to work where they want or leave at their own will if the environment doesn’t fit their prerequisites. Ron Paul went on to say, “Because people are insulted by rude behavior, I don’t think we should make a federal case about it.” He went on to say that those kinds of sexual harassments, verbal harassment such as jokes, should be dealt with outside of the courtroom.

Many of Paul’s views about sexual harassment may not be popular, but others may be down right dangerous, as when he commented that there is no reason at all for federal harassment laws, because there are already state laws prohibiting assault and rape. His comments have been building anger and resentment from sexual harassment victims all over the country; many think that his ideas are bad social and economic policies that could lead to even more civil rights lawsuit.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that contained several instants of homophobic and even racist remarks. Paul didn’t deny that the remarks are in the newsletters, but defended himself by saying that he was simply the publisher, not the editor of the newsletters. “I didn’t review them. It was an error on my part,” Paul admitted.

Paul went on to say that the errors that he made were human, and said that his own views on racism can be seen in his past criticisms of the judicial system when it has mistreated minorities.

Ron Paul would be able to make a stronger case for his own presidential candidacy if he would do two things. The first, accept the idea that sexual harassment should have federal laws protecting the victims. Secondly, he should make public his record of stopping racism and going after courts that have mistreated minorities

HP CEO Resigns After Accusations of Sexual Harassment

Whether the accusations are true or not, once a CEO has been accused the entire company can look at fault. In many cases, the best result is for the accused to resign. This is the action that HP took this week when a letter came to the forefront naming CEO Mark Hurd in a case of sexual harassment. The letter alleges that Hurd was making unwanted sexual advances to a woman named Jodie Fisher, all the while bragging that famous women, such as Sheryl Crow, desired him.

When Hurd resigned, he made a quick leap over to Oracle, to work as the president there. Since then, the board of directors at HP has been pursuing their own internal investigation, which has recently uncovered he cheated on expense reports, making the situation even worse for the former CEO of HP, Mark Hurd.

In the meantime, CFO Cathie Lesjak has been brought into the company as the new CEO until the board can conclude their own investigation. The decision for Hurd to step down didn’t come immediately after the sexual harassment letter was received. The initial investigation determined that none of HP’s sexual harassment policies were violated, but did discover that there were some problems with the finances being done by Hurd.

Apparently, there was a large amount of money missing that, reportedly, went to the contractor that was complained of sexual harassment, Jodie Fisher. Now, the investigation has switched over from internal investigation of sexual harassment to one of missing funds. Mark Hurd released a statement of apology and regret for not being able to, “live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect, and integrity…” that he was entrusted with. Mark Hurd worked as CEO of HP for five years before the initial sexual harassment charges were brought to the Board of Directors.

Hurd went on to say that his behavior doesn’t reflect on HP’s sexual harassment policies or financial security, which the investors seemed to believe. Yesterday, HP’s stock price rose .06%, going in the opposite direction that most expected.

Historically, after sexual harassment charges, and the financial fiasco, the investing public would start to see reason to sell off their shares. The only reason that this didn’t happen was because the sexual harassment charges were kept quiet enough that the mainstream media didn’t pick up on it until the finance discrepancies came into light.

HP’s sexual harassment problems are such that they can still be repaired. A company like HP has offices and employees all over the world, which can complicate the idea of having the entire HP workforce take sexual harassment training. Since every state and country makes different sexual harassment policies, it can be tough getting all the working employees educated properly. This is when the idea of ensuring every boss, supervisor, and new CEO takes sexual harassment training is essential.

The ones in charge can take the education they’ve learned and create usable policies that can improve and even prevent sexual harassment in their workplaces. The classes will also help those in charge make clear methods of reporting sexual harassment. That will give those who are victimized a way, and sense, of gaining real justice.


Sexual Harassment from L.A.’s Central District

Sexual harassment has found quite a home in California. Since the 1990's has infested every type of professional clear to Supreme Court Judge. That fact alone makes it one of the easiest crimes to commit. Life in L.A. is fast paced, just ask the LAPD. The area has opened a new jail, experienced an increase in crime, and even homelessness.

The LAPD itself has experienced its own share of problems this year. It has been claimed that the LAPD Central District has been allowing a culture of racism and sexual harassment to infest its ranks. It has also been claimed that the higher command of the LAPD Central District knew all about the problems they were experiencing, and did nothing to stop or prevent them.

Four officers and two sergeants have been implicated in the allegations of sexual harassment. Each one has since been transferred to different stations and also downgraded in rank, two of the worst punishments for any policeman. It’s not immediately evident what the demotions in command exactly were, only that they were demoted and transferred.

One reason why the reported sexual harassment continued is due to the highest-ranking officer in the station being involved in his own legal problems. He may have been too busy to notice, too busy to want to get involved, or just plain ignored it. That highest-ranking officer at the Central District is Captain Todd Chamberlain. He actually headed the Central District. Just as his six subordinates, he was transferred to another station last October, after charges were filed.

Some could see the transfers as the best way to push the matter under the rug. What's the best way to hide a crime? By hiding the people involved. By scattering the officers to several different locations, some have seen it as a move to make the Central Districts sexual harassment problems seem small or even nonexistent. The demotions in rank, by some, were seen as a weak way of the Central Districts higher command trying to get out of the charges they had been covering up.

Others see the move to transfer these officers as a way to punish them and remove them from the atmosphere in which they were offending. By changing their location, they can change their mind-set and help them realize what they were doing was wrong. In even the most basic of sexual harassment cases, sexual harassment courses should be mandatory.

When considering the idea to transfer the offending officers or not, it must be realized that neither decision was going to be liked by everyone. The Los Angeles Central District made the decision they thought they needed, while unpopular, it was best to move the offenders away from the victim. The victim, after all, has done nothing wrong.

When concerning the problems facing our officers, and the public safety, all police officers nationwide should undertake sexual harassment courses. After considering the political correctness that defines sexual harassment, the need for courses that can train each officer what sexual harassment is and how to spot it can’t be denied.


Sexual Harassment Decision Reversed in Appeals Court

After a district court in Baltimore’s initial decision concerning sexual harassment favored the defendant, an appeal was immediately filed. The appeal hearing ended in favor of the former employee. Back and forth decisions like this are unusual, but happen from time to time.

The case involves a woman that was hired as an executive assistant for Baltimore, Maryland's Commission on aging and Retirement, or CARE. A few months after she was hired, her boss began hitting on her and making sexual propositions to her. Most of the time he was making her the center of his fantasy, involving a night in a hot tub. The weeks that passed while she worked were filled with this type of sexual harassment, including sexually charged jokes, and even asking if she was wearing underwear that day.

Her supervisor would often tell stories of his sexual experiences, including stories of a mother and daughter, which like her, were of African-American descent. While offering these propositions, he would often touch her leg and even touch her under the table during company meetings. She soon discussed the opportunity to switch to another department, which was quickly forgotten by her superiors. A few months after attempting to change departments, her boss forced himself upon her and kissed her. The next day, she told boss that she wanted only a professional relationship, which he responded by telling her his hot tub fantasy once again.

The victim emailed the Executive Director of CARE twice, both times complaining of harassment. She just didn’t stop there though; she also got in contact with the First Deputy Mayor and the Mayors Chief of Staff. This action resulted in a formal complaint being sent to the Mayor. The woman was fired later that day. Finally, she filed suit against her boss at CARE, the First Deputy Mayor, the Mayor, and the city of Baltimore. Her claim in the suit filed says that she experienced a sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, listing the frequency and retaliation of the claims.


The district court favored the defendants, stating that three or four instances with no evidence of a physical threat did not prove a hostile work environment. On top of this, the district court was provided with documents explaining why she should be fired, which had been written and dated a full week before her termination. That gave the court reason to believe there was a legitimate reason to fire her.

When the case was appealed, the appellate court reversed the ruling. The court accepted at least 12 different instances that sexual harassment had occurred in the work place, creating a hostile environment. According to law, the plaintiff must provide “tangible aspects” of how her life and job were affected, which the appellate court believed was legally met. The final step that the appellate court took was to completely dismiss the dated timestamp provided on the letter of termination. The court found that it was created artificially to negate the claims of retaliation.

If sexual harassment training had been mandatory in working for CARE, then this entire situation may never had occurred. Also, if the Mayors office would have taken the proper steps in dealing with the situation, then the city itself would have been able to escape the lawsuit and keep its name clean for the next election.


South Bend Housing Authority at Foundations of Sexual Harassment… Again

The South Bend Housing Authority has known its fair share of problems, especially with the crash of the Indiana housing markets. What most people haven’t realized is the fact the S.B.H.A. has had multiple problems with sexual harassment in the past. Sadly, those problems continue. Last year, a woman claimed that 5 men harassed her while working as an assistant between 2010 and 2011.

More recently, two men have stepped forward, claiming that the South Bend Housing Authority Executive Director Marva Leonard-Dent had been sexually harassing them. Sexual harassment charges filed by men are rare, but are largely taken for granted. Men do experience sexual harassment, but many feel too embarrassed to report it.

The newest case of sexual harassment, filed by a woman who is remaining anonymous, stated that the harassment and abuse against her started nearly the first day she started working for the housing authority. The victim admits she didn’t report the abuse right away out of fear for her job. She had just gotten the work and didn’t want to risk losing it. After the harassment continued day to day, she felt there was no other option than to come forward with the complaints.

The victim claims that even after reporting the problem, nothing was done to stop or prevent it. The current victim in the case claimed she sent multiple emails to her supervisors, including Marva Leonard-Dent. She goes on to claim that after complaining about her co-workers behavior, she was met with hostility and they began leaving her out of meetings. Eventually, the abuse victim was put on a three month paid leave, and was forced to return working with the same men that harassed her to begin with.

The plaintiff is hoping that through eyewitness accounts, video camera evidence, and her emailed complaints, that the courts will be provided with enough evidence to rule on her behalf.

As with many cases of harassment or abuse, she finally came forward with the allegations when she heard of the complaints being filed against Marva Leanard-Dent. Many victims are too scared to come forward alone, so victims often find strength in the knowledge that they aren’t alone in their problem and accusations.

She goes onto say, "There was really nothing else I could do, you know, it was either stay there and put up with it or let them find a reason to try to fire me or to find another job.” When faced with these decisions, she opted to find another job rather than wait to be fired for her complaints.

The South Bend Housing Authority has had several problems regarding abuse and harassment in its recent past. Many of these cases could have been prevented or resolved immediately if a proper channel for complaints had been established. The idea of sexual harassment classes for all S.B.H.A. employees may be the best idea at this point. It would educate the employees to what is, and what is not, sexual harassment. The final cost of these classes will be considerably less than the final cost of court hearings, settlements, and lawyer fees. The classes would also stop any future sexual harassment cases, or at the very least, allow the S.B.H.A. to say they handled the problem as best as they could.