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IS THE EEOC TRYING ITS TEEN HARASSMENT CASES IN THE MEDIA?

Mike Fox isn't impressed by the news that the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is flying to Phoenix for a press conference on a pair of employment discrimination lawsuits involving teen workers. (Both suits involve sexual harassment of teens at fast-food franchises.)

In "Governing by Publicity? Is That a Good Use of the Justice System?" Fox writes:

"I am not totally sure what I think about this tactic, but it does make me wonder whether this is a good use of government resources (possibly, but I would bet there are better uses), whether it is fair to the defendant (no), and whether since I would normally decry a private plaintiff (or defendant, for that matter) who tried to use a lawsuit for a public relations purpose, I should think any differently just because it is a government agency (I don't see why)." More here.

Perhaps I've spent too much time cordoned off from these events as a member of the press, but IMHO government by publicity -- spin -- dates back to the origin of our species.

If there is a silver lining to this carefully managed announcement, it's that somewhere -- in Phoenix and beyond -- a few teen workers and their parents will pay attention to the allegations in these cases. Kids on the job need adult guidance in arming themselves with the tools to get themselves out of harm's way and reporting sexual harassment when it does happen. And it does happen.

Posted by Laurel Newby on February 23, 2005 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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