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Naval officer stripped of command over sexual harassment claims

Earlier this month, it was learned that the commander of the Florida-based warship USS The Sullivans had the dubious honor of becoming one of the 12 or so naval officers who have been stripped of their positions so far this year.

The reason the man lost his command is that about 10 female subordinates had alleged that he committed sexual harassment against them by ogling them, leering at their body parts and making them feel uncomfortable in a sexual way. We hope we don't have to tell Detroit readers that that sort of behavior is not allowed in any workplace.

A vice admiral who investigated the complaints against the commander found the commander's "inappropriate actions and language...created a hostile command climate for his wardroom." Publicly, the Navy said the commander was removed for "unprofessional command that was contrary to good order and discipline."

It is good to see that someone who was treating women unfairly and illegally was suitably reprimanded for his actions, but that kind of thing does not happen automatically. Often, employees have to speak about what is happening at work with an employment law attorney and learn about their options before they can choose how to proceed.

Our office is one of several in the Detroit area that works with employees in such situations. To learn more about our office so you can make an educated decision about whom you'd like to represent you if you're looking for an attorney, visit the Employees' Rights page of our website.

Source: The Washington Post, "Report: Navy officer removed from warship command after sexual harassment allegations raised," Aug. 20, 2012

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