Solutions Spotlight: One Year Later: TIMES UP
– Ellie Driscoll, Program Coordinator for the Legal Network, National Women’s Law Center
A 56-year-old Walmart worker in Mississippi, a 15-year-old McDonalds cashier in St. Louis, five female paramedics in Chicago: these are just a handful of the many brave individuals who came forward this past year and, with support from the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, took on the sexual harassment they experienced at work.
In January, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) will turn one-year-old. During the past year, LDF created the first-ever network of attorneys combating workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation. We’ve heard from more than 3,700 people looking for legal assistance, and helped connect them with attorneys in our network. We’ve funded 75 cases fighting workplace sexual harassment, retaliation, or defending survivors who have come forward with their stories. We’ve awarded 18 grants to organizations across the country working to raise awareness about protections against workplace sexual harassment. And we’ve matched 33 people with public relations firms to help them tell their story publicly, to change the culture of silence around reporting sexual harassment.
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund’s focus is on assisting low-wage workers. Two-thirds of the people reaching out to us identify as low-wage workers. The cases we fund involve farmworkers, fast food workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, and more.
Over the past year, we’ve seen just how great the need is for legal assistance for survivors of workplace sexual harassment and violence. Individuals from all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, have contacted us for assistance. Almost 40% are women of color, and almost 9% identify as LGBTQ. We’ve heard from women, men and gender non-conforming folks across industries. We know that there is much more work to do.
If you’re interested in learning more, or if you are an attorney who would like to join the network, please visit our website here.