We are proud to work with a coalition of anti-violence advocates, union leaders, worker advocates and women worker leaders—the Ya Basta! Coalition—to advance the workplace safety and dignity of women and other workers vulnerable to experiencing sexual violence and harassment in the janitorial industry, and improve conditions for all workers.
Regardless of where we end up, most of us enter the workforce through low-wage service jobs. They are a critical acculturation experience that shape employees' expectations of acceptable behavior throughout their working lives. The Chicago-based Coalition Against Workplace Sexual Violence, which I co-founded, just released a report detailing low-wage workers' experiences of sexual violence and the inadequacies of existing responses to address it.
Passionate disagreements are a normal and acceptable part of our discourse. But harassing, intimidating, or threatening a colleague is wrong, even within the throes of political debate. The use of abusive tactics of fear and intimation to scare an opponent into agreement cannot be tolerated.
In my role with Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence, a National Resource Center funded by a Department of Justice grant through the Office on Violence Against Women, I talk with managers, supervisors, and workers about how domestic violence impacts their workplaces. During these discussions, I am often asked “What does my coworker’s private life have to do with me and our workplace?”
University of Iowa Survey Finds That Even Relatively Well-Prepared Businesses Aren’t Very Well-Prepared for Workplace Violence
A survey from the University of Iowa shows that many companies have significant gaps in how they prepare for the potential for workplace violence, even though more businesses are taking the possibility for such a threat seriously.
John Joseph Boswell, the chief executive of a barrel manufacturing company, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse for groping a maid at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.
Workplaces Respond conducted a Congressional Briefing on May 18, 2017, to discuss the impacts of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and harassment on workplaces, and share the innovative prevention and response strategies.
Workers make up the backbone of the American economy, yet continue to face dangerous work environments. The fight for safer workplaces includes traditional protections like access to safety equipment and training, but should also include protections from the workplace effects of sexual and domestic violence.
Shock, dismay, anger – my social media was buzzing about the personal accounts of two former Uber employees detailing their stories of the gender discrimination and sexual harassment they faced at the prestigious tech company.
But over time, court rulings prompted businesses to affirmatively respond to sexual harassment in the workplace. Many companies established anti-harassment policies with complaint procedures, and some trained employees, supervisors and management on what constituted inappropriate behavior. I was an employment attorney, specializing in harassment, discrimination and workplace safety. Even with my expertise, and with an anti-harassment policy in place, I was subjected to sexual harassment by a client and then encouraged to participate in the “harmless flirting” in order to keep the client happy.
What I experienced was not the exception – it was the norm.