USA Today: ‘People came forward’: Cuomo harassment allegations show the success of #MeToo & the challenges ahead

March 4. 2021

ERA Executive Director Noreen Farrell is featured in a USA Today article about sexual harassment victims speaking out about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sexual harassment is still very commonplace in nearly every field,” says Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, a legal nonprofit. “But it’s clear the #MeToo movement has made people more comfortable coming forward to report it. We’re seeing more victims find strength in each other to take action and hold serial harassers accountable.”

Employers can encourage workers to come forward with complaints by making reporting procedures clear, looking into every allegation, and clearly saying what measures will be taken to hold harassers accountable, says Farrell of Equal Rights Advocates. Bystanders should also be trained on how to respond if they see misconduct.

“Every person deserves to feel safe at work,” Farrell says, “and those who have been sexually harassed deserve justice and healing.”

The article also mentions ERA janitor clients in our lawsuit against ABM as examples of survivors’ power to speak big change by joining forces, speaking out together, and advocating for better policies and practices in their workplaces.

Some workers are also suing their employers and winning. On Feb. 26, three Latina women who claimed they were sexually harassed and assaulted while working as custodians for the facility management company ABM Industries won a financial settlement, according to Equal Rights Advocates, which represented the women.

The settlement also mandates ABM put in place safety procedures for janitors and supervisors working in California, including pairing two or more workers for certain tasks, making sure harassment training and materials are in English and Spanish and aiming to hire and promote more women to leadership roles.

Read the article here.

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