The plaintiffs had two legal claims. The first being that there was a claim of sex discrimination when it came to Eveleth Mines’ promotional practices, specifically the practice of promoting hourly employees to step-up foreman; no woman was ever promoted to step-up foreman at the mine (Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite, paragraph 3). The second claim was of sexual harassment, particularly through the maintenance of a hostile environment at the Thunderbird Mine and Fairlane Plant (Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite, paragraph 6). Reacting to those claims, the management at the Eveleth Mines stated that 1) in terms of the sex discrimination claim, the defendants wanted to prove that the reason of no woman being promoted to step-up foreman was not a result of sex discrimination or an employment policy, but rather the factor that woman did not have the experience or training required to become a step-up foreman and that those that did have both, were just not interested (Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite, paragraph 4).
I believe there are a few factors as to why sexual harassment continues to persist in business, even though there is the risk of liability as well as the personal and profession harm such as behavior causes. First, the antifemale animus, which is the negative feelings that a man has about a women and their ability to work or perform that usually manifests in the form of negative language and actions (Bennet-Alexander and Hartman, 451) will, in my opinion, be a cause for sexual harassment; as long as there are men who have a problem with the idea of women working at jobs exactly as the same as theirs, there is bound to be sexual harassment. Furthermore, it is stated that while the harassment of an employee must be gender-based, “it does not need to involve sex, requests for sexual activity, sexual comments, or other similar activity” (Bennet-Alexander and Hartman, 451). This opens up the path to a plethora of scenarios, ways or options that could eventually lead to claims of sexual harassment.
Finally, based on the viewing of the North Country movie, if I was the Director of Human Resources at Eveleth Mines in 2021, the first action I would implement to protect against workplace harassment is to create an explicitly clear sexual harassment policy that is similar to that of the XYZ Policy mentioned in the textbook (Bennet-Alexander and Hartman, 436) which would be shared and handed out to all employees so that the employees would be well aware and educated of the policy, and be implemented with immediate effect. This would allow the employees to know how serious this problem/issue is and that such action or activity will be subject to severe sanctions and will not be tolerated. The second action I would implement is to install a committee along with surveillance cameras around the mine area that will supervise each work area and have a person or people stationed at the work area just to make sure there is nothing bad going on at the workplace.