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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, June 27, 2022
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Just Chip Away at Sexual Harassment?

Dear Source:

I was dismayed to read the following in the article on sexual harassment:
"Veona Stevens, who works in Sen. Ronald Russell's legislative office, said women employees in his office are warned that they'll be propositioned by older men at the Legislature.
"Everyone knows it and is aware that it happens," she said.
Women are advised to just say no. Situations such as this one are cultural, and the only way to put an end to them is to "chip away" at it, Williams said.
Smith agreed that the "West Indian culture" accepts such behavior."
Well, who are these "older men" and are they subject to the sexual harassment law? If so, just saying no isn't enough. Charges need to be filed and they need to be held accountable. That's why sexual harassment in the workplace has been addressed in law. I know–I used to practice labor and employment law in the states before I retired here. The older men need to be subject to a training session in sexual harassment. Moreover, knowingly maintaining a workplace that is hostile in this way is a violation of the law. More should be done than just saying no to "chip away" at sexual harassment.

Dena Langdon
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Dear Source:

I was dismayed to read the following in the article on sexual harassment:
"Veona Stevens, who works in Sen. Ronald Russell's legislative office, said women employees in his office are warned that they'll be propositioned by older men at the Legislature.
"Everyone knows it and is aware that it happens," she said.
Women are advised to just say no. Situations such as this one are cultural, and the only way to put an end to them is to "chip away" at it, Williams said.
Smith agreed that the "West Indian culture" accepts such behavior."
Well, who are these "older men" and are they subject to the sexual harassment law? If so, just saying no isn't enough. Charges need to be filed and they need to be held accountable. That's why sexual harassment in the workplace has been addressed in law. I know--I used to practice labor and employment law in the states before I retired here. The older men need to be subject to a training session in sexual harassment. Moreover, knowingly maintaining a workplace that is hostile in this way is a violation of the law. More should be done than just saying no to "chip away" at sexual harassment.

Dena Langdon
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.