Women’s Media Center: What Can We Learn From the Cuomo Case About Workplace Sexual Harassment?

September 8. 2021


ERA Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy Jessica Stender was interviewed for a Women’s Media Center story about the sexual harassment complaints against NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and what the case indicates for the progress of the Me Too movement and related policies:

The media attention around the case may help to “show the common themes in workplace sexual harassment, especially with a repeat harasser,” said Jessica Ramey Stender, senior counsel of workplace justice and public policy at Equal Rights Advocates. “There was a power imbalance with the perpetrator in a supervisory position, and the accusers were aides or had less power. The accusations were not taken seriously, and it appears that some women experienced retaliation, including one woman who was transferred, and another who, after reporting the harassment, the executive chamber actively engaged in an effort to discredit her by leaking records related to her employment.”

It may also offer some clarity about what actually constitutes workplace harassment, which, in the Cuomo case, included groping and kissing, and also unwelcome inquiries about the women’s dating life and comments on their bodies. “Not only is it inappropriate, but in some instances, also illegal,” said Stender. This behavior should not just be considered “part of getting a paycheck, part of the job and that some women may assume that they have to put up with it.”

The Cuomo case should be a reminder for just how pervasive this problem is. “This case shows that if this type of behavior is enabled and allowed to persist in one of the highest levels of offices in state government, it’s happening in all types of workplaces, especially where there isn’t as much public scrutiny, and especially in low-wage jobs,” said Stender.

Read the story.

Stay Connected & Take Action

Legal Advice & Resources / Consejos y Recursos legales

Know Your Rights

Learn what your rights are so you can navigate your situation and make the best decision for you.

Your Rights at Work
Your Rights at School

Contact Us

We may be able to provide free legal help for the following issues at school: gender and LGBTQI+ discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and pregnancy or parenting discrimination.

Apply for Legal Help

Learn More

We have trained legal advocates and lawyers on staff to guide you through your legal issue.

We're helping women, families, workers & students navigate COVID-19

Conozca Sus Derechos

Aprende sus derechos para que puedas navegar su situación y tomar la mejor decisión para ti.

Sus Derechos en el Trabajo

Contáctenos

Posible que podamos proveer ayuda legal por gratis por los siguientes problemas en el trabajo o la escuela: discriminación basado en el género o por LGBTQI+, acoso sexual, asalto sexual, y discriminación basado en el embarazo o por ser padre/madre.

Contáctenos

Nuestro servicio de asesoramiento por teléfono está cerrado por ahora

En este momento, no estamos recibiendo solicitudes dejadas por un recado de teléfono. Sin embargo, usted puede someter una solicitud para una consulta por la manera de hacer clic en el links "Empleo" o "Educación."