Q&A: Why weren't DJs fired for Native comments?

"Q. Shouldn't the Fox radio station have fired Woody and Wilcox? Wasn't what they did sexual harassment?

In our company, a lot of the guys tune into another station and the daily comments are far worse than anything the Fox ever aired. I've complained repeatedly but my manager tells me to grow up and change the channel if I don't like listening. This advice doesn't work when I'm the only woman in the room.

I went online to understand what sexual harassment is and it appears that if someone in my workplace doesn't say something specifically to me, I can't protest. Is that true?

A. According to Anchorage attorney Tom Daniel, "Offensive workplace language doesn't need to specifically target an employee to constitute sexual harassment."

Daniel cites the Reeves vs. CH Robinson case in which Reeves alleged that her co-workers listened daily to an offensive radio show that discussed the breast size of female celebrities, erotic dreams and masturbation. When Reeves complained about the radio show, her managers told her she could play her own music or change the station. When she changed the station, her co-workers quickly changed the station back.

According to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, Reeves didn't need to prove the radio programming was directed at her; just that it was degrading and thus sexually discriminatory."

Get the Story:
Lynne Curry: Sexual harassment isn't necessarily personal (The Anchorage Daily News 5/5)

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