Originally created 07/03/05

Employment briefs



Young employees are prone to harassment

Sexual harassment can be a problem for any worker, but young people, many of whom enter the labor force through summer jobs, can be particularly vulnerable.

"When you are older, you challenge what's happening," said Stephen L. Cuyjet Jr., an investigator for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "When you are younger," he said, "you desperately want to keep this form of independence, and you tend to absorb the abuse."

Mr. Cuyjet, commission lawyers and other staff members have been traveling to schools to tell young workers the commission is available to help them if they have harassment and discrimination problems on the job.

"They don't know they have the right to address it," Mr. Cuyjet said.

Young people should first tell the person who is causing the problem to stop. If that fails, they should talk to their bosses and consult company harassment policies. But if that fails, they can contact the commission.

Last summer, 21.4 million people ages 16 to 24 held jobs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The youth work force swelled by 2.3 million from April to July, the peak for summer employment.

Companies provide wellness programs

In a survey of 365 large U.S. companies, Deloitte Consulting found that 62 percent report that they operate wellness programs - such as smoking cessation classes, subsidizing fitness club memberships, providing on-site workout facilities and offering health-risk assessments - to improve health.