Allred, Maroko & Goldberg

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#MeToo Must Be Inclusive

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the list of wealthy and powerful men who have been outed as sexual harassers, abusers and predators continues to grow. While high-profile cases involving ousted CEOs and shamed Hollywood producers dominate media headlines, those involving less high-profile industries, such as the aggressive fast-food manager or inappropriate hotel guest, are rarely reported.

#MeToo has empowered many women to speak out about the sexually explicit comments they endure or physical assault they experience. For women who work minimum- or low-wage jobs — a disproportionate percentage of whom are Hispanic and black — sexual harassment remains a pervasive problem.

Sexual Harassment Rampant In Certain Industries

A woman may choose to remain silent about harassment and abuse she suffers at work for many reasons. When viewed through the lens of a 23-year-old Hispanic single mom who lives paycheck to paycheck, fear of being fired and the resulting economic repercussions tops the list.

The following industries employ a high percentage of minority women who earn minimum or low wages:

  • Hospitality and restaurant
  • Retail
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Administration
  • Waste management

For these women, lack of power and fear of retaliation often prevent them from speaking up and reporting the egregious abuses they suffer. Rightfully so-- according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center of EEOC complaints filed between 2012 and 2016, more than 1 in 3 women who filed charges alleging sexual harassment also alleged retaliation.

Encouraging All Women To Understand What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment and to Speak Up About It

As the #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum and spur both cultural and systemic change, it is crucial that the voices of all women are heard and respected. Whether a top-billing actress or a waitress who earns minimum wage, employment laws protect all workers from sexual harassment and abuse, including:

  • Lewd jokes or sharing details of sexual experiences or fantasies
  • Inappropriate touching, kissing or caressing
  • Sexually offensive gestures or remarks
  • Brushing or pressing up against an individual
  • Comments or insults related to an individual’s gender or sexual orientation
  • Physically blocking an individual’s movement
  • Sending or displaying sexually inappropriate materials, including videos, photos and texts
  • Requests for sex or sexual favors
  • Sexual assault

If you have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, an attorney can help you end the abuse and stand up for your rights.

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Allred, Maroko & Goldberg

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