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Michigan city's female employees complain of sexual harassment

Officials for a township in southwestern Michigan are having trouble explaining why female township employees are complaining of being sexually harassed.

in the first instance, a cemetery worker for Otsego Township recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission alleging she was subjected to sexual harassment at work. The exact details of the complaint have not been made public. The woman recently settled with the Otsego Township, which admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

A township secretary also filed a complaint with the Commission, complaining that she was being "intimidated and subjected to different terms and conditions of employment" for testifying in the cemetery worker's sexual harassment case.

The male employee who was accused of performing the harassing behavior has been barred from entering the township hall and the township cemetery.

At a recent meeting, several residents voiced their concerns about the way these employee issues were being handled and implied they might mount a recall for two township supervisors if things did not improve.

In the U.S., people have a right to work in an environment free of threats or unwelcome conduct. Sadly, this right is often violated in ways both big and small. It can be difficult to know what to do when you feel you are being subjected to inappropriate behavior. Speaking with your boss or your human resources department might be a good first step. If that fails, you may want to consider working with an employment law attorney. He or she will be familiar with how employment laws work and may be able to offer helpful advice.

Source: The Allegan County News, "Otsego Township continues to roil with employee issues," Daniel Pepper, 19 July 2011.

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