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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Federal official retires after spouse's sexual harassment charges

Yosemite National Park is considered one of the gems of outdoor recreation in California. Recently, however, it has come under scrutiny due to a scandal relating to blatant sexual harassment and intimidation under the leadership of Don Neubacher. Neubacher is the husband of Patty Neubacher, who was the regional director of the Pacific West Region, which covers 56 national parks located in 6 western states.

In an investigation headed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and Congress, many female national park employees reported hostile work environments. Additionally, it became apparent that there was a failure by management to investigate and handle claims of harassment. The report found that this was especially true of Yosemite National Park, as there were allegations that Patty Neubacher protected her husband from scrutiny.

After the details of the investigations were reported, Patty Neubacher resigned from her position following 33 years in the National Park Service. Her husband also resigned from his position at Yosemite during the scandal. When news of their departures became known, many other current and former workers within the organization came forward with additional tales of harassment and intimidation.

Facing sexual harassment, bullying or other intimidation in any work setting can be traumatic for the victims, and taking action against something as large as a government agency may seem daunting. However, seeking the counsel of a California employment law attorney may be a good place to begin the quest for justice. People facing these situations may be entitled to compensatory damages in a civil suit that could assist in many costs, including those incurred due to lost wages.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Federal official retires amid allegations she shielded her husband in Yosemite harassment scandal", Louis Sahagun, Oct. 3, 2016

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