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Nonprofit organization faces allegations of sexual harassment

Employees should always feel safe in the workplace and not be subjected to aggressive behavior or unwelcome propositions. While many industries are finally investigating cultures of objectification and sexual harassment, the nonprofit world is also facing allegations along these lines.

Several female employees and former employees of a prominent nongovernmental organizations are alleging a widespread culture of sexual harassment in the workplace. At least six women have reported sexually aggressive behavior and inappropriate conversation in the office and during work trips by one high-ranking official, as well as other men with the organization.

The efforts of the organization have drawn hundreds of junior employees and interns, who may have been marginalized due to a desire to advance political agendas. Officials transferred the high-ranking man to a new department but made no further mention of the women's accusations.

Since then, the chief executive officer (CEO) has been accused of demanding sexual favors in return for promotions in a report based on 33 interviews dating back nearly 12 years. He denies the allegations and points to the progress of the organization during his tenure.

The details of the allegations include attempts to get female employees alone in men's offices, inappropriate touching during work events and unwelcome sexual advances such as long discussions about sex lives. Some female fundraisers say they were pressured to have sex with donors to secure money for the organization.

Workplace victims of sexual harassment have the right to seek financial damages, reinstatement or earned promotion through settlements and legal action. An attorney may help victims sort out their options, especially when proving a culture of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Source: Politico Magazine, "Female Employees Allege Culture of Sexual Harassment at Humane Society," Ian Kullgren, Jan. 30, 2018

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