Sexual Harassment of Teens In The Workplace Essay

Sexual Harassment of Teens In The Workplace Essay

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For millions of teenagers working in the American workforce, being sexually harassed is not an uncommon occurrence in their daily work environment. Unfortunately, teenagers in the workforce become particularly vulnerable to acts of harassment because they lack awareness about their rights as an employee and do not have enough work experience or maturity to address situations that arise in the work environment. These teenagers are usually part-time workers, overlooked for training, view their supervisors as having the ultimate authority over their job, and are more likely to be unaware of harassment policies than other workers within the workforce. Despite all of these factors, more and more organizations in industries like retail (i.e. Kmart), entertainment (i.e. movie theatres), and food services (i.e. McDonalds) to be specific, have turned to teenagers as a key source of labor. In doing so, these organizations have exposed themselves to the liability of protecting the youth that they employ and must take even greater measures to prevent these teenagers from being subjected to a hostile work environment.

Where these organizations fail to protect the youth that they employ, the federal (and State) government, by way of passing labor laws and through the administration of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), attempts to ensure that teens are fairly educated and represented if such a hostile work environment occurs. It is through the EEOC’s guardianship that the government has recognized as well as acknowledged a need to protect teenagers from harassment in the workplace and have more recently been active in taking action against organizations that fail to do so. Despite these efforts, an increasing number of...


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...nd successfully prove harassment in the workplace. Larger increases in punitive and compensatory damages are becoming more common as awards by juries in cases involving working teenagers. Despite these legal protections, there is still more that needs to be done in order to ensure that employed teenagers are being protected in the workplace from harassment. Employers must recognize their neglect of teenagers within the workforce in order to become more conscious about the hostile work environments that they may be creating or promoting for the teens that they employ. With the establishment of initiatives by the EEOC to educate these teens about their rights as employees and providing assistance to employers through the creation of specific harassment prevention guidelines, it is likely that the work environment for teens in the future will change for the better.

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