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In the run-up to President’s Day weekend, San Francisco Bay Area designer and entrepreneur Carly Dennett was in the mood to shake things up. Uplifted by the Women’s March in Oakland a few weeks before, but still mad as hell about the election of a misogynist president and almost daily attacks on the civil rights of women and girls from the new administration, Carly’s Flowerland nursery in the town of Albany became a hub for a community looking for ways to fight back.

In honor of President’s Day, the big Flowerland sign on Solano Ave read: “It’s time to plant your impeach trees” – the work of Carly’s husband Matthew Hooven. Carly and her staff were brainstorming about how to unload a shipment of self-watering pots that just hadn’t hit it off with her customers as well as she’d hoped.

Her long-time friend and co-worker Carrie Schulze came up with the idea of giving the pots away to every customer who made a donation to a good cause. Carly, a supporter of Equal Rights Advocates who marched with the ERA contingent in Oakland, jumped on the idea and suggested that ERA would be the cause to benefit from the giveaway. One week later, 331 pots had moved off the shelves and more than $4,000 had been donated to ERA.

“It was so empowering. Wow! I couldn’t believe things came together so beautifully,” says Carly. She had been both excited and scared by the giveaway idea. “But the Flowerland staff really got into it and the customers were just amazing. I’ve worked hard to nurture the community around the nursery and was a little worried that folks might be put off by being asked for a donation. But really it was just the opposite – we had people thanking us for the opportunity to give.”

Carly, who was raised in Mendocino, is the first woman in her family to go to college. She’s worked hard to make Flowerland a success and a destination for garden lovers in the East Bay. “I’m proud to have taken a non-traditional route and am showing my daughters that they can find their own path to doing whatever they want to do with their lives.”

As a woman business owner, Carly appreciates the work that organizations like ERA do to clear a path for women to succeed. “There are so many potential stumbling blocks when starting a business and it’s been great to have strong women there to help me at key points along the way. Learning how to combat bullies was an important life lesson for me.”

“Raising money for ERA was a way I could do something,” Carly concluded. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m a terrible letter writer. But I have this amazing community of friends, employees and customers who I knew were feeling a lot like I did about the political scene and wanted to do something about it. The success of this idea has given me the confidence to try something similar again.”

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This post also appears on Medium. Follow Noreen Farrell's writings on Medium here. 

Over the span of 14 years, five women charged Bill O’Reilly of Fox News with verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and sexually charged phone calls. Despite the charges, and payments of over $13 million to settle them, Bill O’Reilly has continued to enjoy the rank of Fox’s “top asset,” earning over $18 million a year.

Similarly, Fox rewarded its former Chairman Rogers Ailes with a $40 million exit package after sexual harassment charges against him prompted his resignation nine months ago.

While federal and state laws have prohibited sexual harassment in the workplace for over 50 years, none seem to have prompted Fox News to address harassment by its highest paid employees.

But over the past week, something remarkable has happened. In the wake of the New York Times article exposing the O’Reilly complaints, companies that advertise on “The O’Reilly Factor” started to pull their business from the show.

To date, more than 80 companies have notified Fox News that they no longer want their brands associated with O’Reilly’s show. Mercedes Benz, which was the first company to walk away, stated: “The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products.” A wave of big companies followed, including Advil, BMW, Carfax, Credit Karma, GEICO, H&R Block, Hulu, Lending Tree, Pfizer, Progressive Insurance, Verizon and Wayfair.

The statements of companies withdrawing support from O’Reilly have been compelling. Jenny Craig emphasized that its company “condemns any and all forms of sexual harassment.” Allstate declared: “Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values.” Bayer stated that the company “supports a safe, respectful and non-abusive environment for women.” Hyundai noted: “As a company, we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity.”

The financial punch of this exodus of O’Reilly advertisers cannot be understated. According to The New York Times, “The O’Reilly Factor” generated more than $446 million in advertising revenue for the network between 2014 and 2016. The advertising money, which gave Bill O’Reilly “top rank” at Fox despite his harassment, is vanishing. By pulling hundreds of millions of dollars from the show, these companies may well have provide Fox News the financial incentive it needs to address sexual harassment that state and federal laws have not.

So, to all of the companies who have pulled advertising dollars from “The O’Reilly Factor,” on behalf of women across the United States:

Thank you for standing up for the rights of women in the workplace.

Thank you for making a strong statement about values shared by most Americans.

Thank you for distancing yourself from a show led by a man who harms women.

Thank you for recognizing the power of women as consumers and viewers, and our value as workers.

We hope that your stand against sexual harassment at Fox News renews your determination to ensure that your own workplaces are free of discrimination and harassment.

It will take women and men working together to end sexual harassment and achieve equality in this country. Fox News is being told loud and clear that diversity, inclusion and respect for women in the workplace are mainstream values, and that saying no to sexual harassment is good business.

Maybe one day Fox News will see the light and agree that it’s also the right thing to do. Until then, please know we are grateful that you took the lead on this fight.

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Recently, the story broke that Fox News spent millions of dollars to buy the silence of women who had reported being sexually harassed by host Bill O’Reilly. In response, the president of the United States sent a chilling message of support for the accused harasser, but not for his victims.

While this reaction may not be surprising – especially given the president’s personal track record – we cannot let it be normal. Especially when as many as 1 in 3 women between the ages of 18 and 34 have experienced workplace sexual harassment, and when sexual violence continues to cause untold physical, emotional, and economic harm to millions of women each year.

When Equal Rights Advocates’ Executive Director Noreen Farrell appeared on PBS Newshour last week to comment on the Fox News scandal, she was asked about “the right recourse” for someone who experiences sexual harassment at work. Listen to what Noreen had to say here or read below our summary of seven key steps you can take to protect yourself and your civil rights if you are being harassed at work:

  1. Learn the rules and know your rights. Read your company’s policy on sexual harassment and understand the steps you can take to report it internally. Read ERA’s “Know Your Rights” guide on sexual harassment at work.
  2. Tell the harasser to stop. Tell the person who's harassing you personally if you feel safe doing so. If you don’t feel safe, consider writing them a letter or e-mail. If you don’t feel safe communicating with the person directly, then tell a supervisor or someone in human resources.
  3. Report the problem to your employer. Employers are supposed to provide a way for employees to report sexual harassment and legally may not retaliate against anyone for complaining. It may be difficult and scary, but to protect your rights you need to give your employer a chance to address the matter. If company policy is not clear about how or where to report harassment, then go to a supervisor or someone in human resources.
  4. Put it in writing. It’s a good idea to put your report or complaint in writing. If you initially report something verbally, memorialize the fact that you did so by putting it in writing afterward. This could be done by sending an e-mail or even a handwritten note that is dated and signed. Be sure to keep copies of any communications between you and your employer about the harassment.
  5. Make a record while you remember. Keep a journal to keep track of events and conversations, noting the dates, times, places, any witnesses to what happened and/or what was said, and any other details that stand out – like how something made you feel.
  6. Tell friends, family, and colleagues what you have experienced. Invoke the “power of the collective,” as Noreen said in the PBS interview. Discover that you’re not alone – that it wasn’t your fault – that there are things you can do to protect yourself and make it right.
  7. Seek legal advice. Unfortunately, many companies fail to investigate or properly respond to sexual harassment complaints. You may need to consult with a lawyer to ensure you are protected and that your job is not put in jeopardy.

NOT YET A MEMBER OF THE TEAM?
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Over the span of 14 years, five women charged Bill O’Reilly of Fox News with verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and sexually charged phone calls. Despite the charges, and payments of over $13 million to settle them, Bill O’Reilly has continued to enjoy the rank of Fox’s “top asset,” earning over $18 million a year. 

To date, more than 80 companies have notified Fox News that they no longer want their brands associated with O’Reilly’s show:

ADT
Advil
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
Allstate
Amica
Ancestry.com
Angie's List
Astra Zenica
Bausch + Lomb
Been Verified
BMW
Capitol One
CarFax
Claritin
Coldwell Banker
Constant Contact
Consumer Cellular
Credit Karma
Crowne Plaza
Eli Lilly & Company
esurance
Flex Seal
Freshpet
Geico
GlaxoSmithKline
GoodRx
H&R Block
Hardwood For Less
Home Advisor
Hulu
Hyundai
Infinity
Innogames
Invisalign
Jaguar
Jenny Craig
Land Rover
Laser Spine Institute
LegalZoom
Lending Tree
Lexus
Liberty Mutual
Lumber Liquidators
Mahindra USA
Mattress Firm
Mercedes-Benz
MilelQ
Miracle Ear
Mitsubishi
Moberg Pharma
MyPillow
Next Day Blinds
ODFL, Inc.
Pacific Life
Peloton
Perillo Tours
Pfizer
Progressive Insurance
Propane Council
Raymour and Flanigan
Reddi Whip
Ring
Sanofi
SCOTTeVEST
SNHU
Society of Human Resource Management
Stanley Steemer
Subaru USA
Sunsweet Growers
T. Rowe Price
The Wonderful Company
Touchnote
Trivago
TrueCar
Untuckit
Verizon
VisionWorks for Life
Voya
Wayfair
Weather Tech
Xfinity

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In the run-up to President’s Day weekend, San Francisco Bay Area designer and entrepreneur Carly Dennett was in the mood to shake things up. Uplifted by the Women’s March in Oakland a few weeks before, but still mad as hell about the election of a misogynist president and almost daily attacks on the civil rights of women and girls from the new administration, Carly’s Flowerland nursery in the town of Albany became a hub for a community looking for ways to fight back.

In honor of President’s Day, the big Flowerland sign on Solano Ave read: “It’s time to plant your impeach trees” – the work of Carly’s husband Matthew Hooven. Carly and her staff were brainstorming about how to unload a shipment of self-watering pots that just hadn’t hit it off with her customers as well as she’d hoped.

Her long-time friend and co-worker Carrie Schulze came up with the idea of giving the pots away to every customer who made a donation to a good cause. Carly, a supporter of Equal Rights Advocates who marched with the ERA contingent in Oakland, jumped on the idea and suggested that ERA would be the cause to benefit from the giveaway. One week later, 331 pots had moved off the shelves and more than $4,000 had been donated to ERA.

“It was so empowering. Wow! I couldn’t believe things came together so beautifully,” says Carly. She had been both excited and scared by the giveaway idea. “But the Flowerland staff really got into it and the customers were just amazing. I’ve worked hard to nurture the community around the nursery and was a little worried that folks might be put off by being asked for a donation. But really it was just the opposite – we had people thanking us for the opportunity to give.”

Carly, who was raised in Mendocino, is the first woman in her family to go to college. She’s worked hard to make Flowerland a success and a destination for garden lovers in the East Bay. “I’m proud to have taken a non-traditional route and am showing my daughters that they can find their own path to doing whatever they want to do with their lives.”

As a woman business owner, Carly appreciates the work that organizations like ERA do to clear a path for women to succeed. “There are so many potential stumbling blocks when starting a business and it’s been great to have strong women there to help me at key points along the way. Learning how to combat bullies was an important life lesson for me.”

“Raising money for ERA was a way I could do something,” Carly concluded. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m a terrible letter writer. But I have this amazing community of friends, employees and customers who I knew were feeling a lot like I did about the political scene and wanted to do something about it. The success of this idea has given me the confidence to try something similar again.”

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The Resistance Gets Creative

April 17, 2017 | by

In the run-up to President’s Day weekend, San Francisco Bay Area designer and entrepreneur Carly Dennett was in the mood to shake things up. Uplifted by the Women’s March in Oakland a few weeks...
read more

To the Companies Who Withdrew Support From Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, Thank You From the Women of America

April 14, 2017 | by

This post also appears on Medium. Follow Noreen Farrell’s writings on Medium here.  Over the span of 14 years, five women charged Bill O’Reilly of Fox News with verbal abuse, lewd comments,...
read more

Know Your Rights: Sexual Harassment at Work

April 13, 2017 | by

Recently, the story broke that Fox News spent millions of dollars to buy the silence of women who had reported being sexually harassed by host Bill O’Reilly. In response, the president of the...
read more

80+ Companies Pull Ads from O’Reilly Factor

April 11, 2017 | by

Over the span of 14 years, five women charged Bill O’Reilly of Fox News with verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and sexually charged phone calls. Despite the charges, and payments of...
read more