The U.S. Forest Service employs many people in California and nationwide. Roughly 40,000 people work at the federal agency, and it unfortunately has a long history of sexual harassment complaints and retaliation. A class-action lawsuit targeted the agency in the 1970s after female employees experienced systemic discrimination. As recently as December 2016, an oversight panel reported that sexual harassment and assault remained rampant at the agency. The new director of the agency reported to Congress about recent steps taken to address an allegedly toxic workplace culture defined by sexual harassment, misconduct and bullying.
California-based social media giant Facebook announced on Nov. 9 that it is revising its workplace policy and will no longer require employees who make allegations of sexual harassment to settle their claims in private arbitration. Facebook is the second major Silicon Valley employer to make such an announcement in recent days. Alphabet Inc., which is the parent company of Google and many of its former subsidiaries, was the first technology giant to change its sexual harassment policies following a series of worker protests.
It's 2018. In theory, men and women should get equal treatment at work. Gender discrimination is illegal. Employers must treat everyone fairly and be respectful at every turn.