Securing Safety and Dignity of Women Workers
Through impact litigation, direct services, public education and other advocacy efforts, ERA stands up for the rights of workers who experience sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation for complaining about such discriminatory conduct.
- Bojorquez v. ABM Industries Incorporated: In May 2012, ERA and co-counsel Villegas Carrera LLP reached a $812,000 jury verdict on behalf of Maria Bojorquez, an immigrant woman who was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation while working as a janitor in San Francisco. Learn more about Maria’s story.
Eliminating Hiring and Promotion Barriers
We take on hiring barriers and glass ceilings to promotion in a variety of fields, including in the trades, STEM, and other male-dominated industries.
- We represent shipyard workers, law professors, retail workers, and more as part of our Women at Work campaign. We also provide continuing representation and support to female firefighters who have been subjected to sex discrimination on the job. This builds on groundbreaking work to improve hiring and promotion in Davis v. City and County of San Francisco and a $2.46 million jury verdict for a female fire recruit in Maher v. County of Fresno.
- We fight for gender equity in the trades in close partnership with Tradeswomen, Inc. Our monitoring of San Francisco federal contractor sites with these other advocates has led to hiring rates that beat the national average.
Seeking Wage Justice and Equal Pay
ERA secures wage justice and advocates for equal pay and promotion opportunities for women working in retail, service, financial, agricultural and other industries.
- On the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, ERA and a coalition of other women’s organizations launched a unique campaign to promote equal pay across the country. To read more about Equal Pay Today! click here.
- The Stronger California campaign promotes a comprehensive legislative agenda, led by ERA and 25 other social justice organizations, aimed at women’s economic security.
Promoting Policies That Serve Working Families
- ERA is leading charge for passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) to ensure the accommodation of pregnant workers. Learn more.
- In 2012, ERA published a groundbreaking report on the importance of passing federal laws to protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace and ensure that employers give these women the accommodations they need to work safely through their pregnancies. To read the report, called Expecting a Baby, Not a Lay-off, click here.
- ERA scored a major victory in the California legislature in 2011 with the passage of SB 299, a bill that ensures continued health care coverage for pregnant workers on disability leave in California. Learn more.
- ERA joins the California Work and Family Coalition in supporting legislation in 2013 to create fair workplace protections for California’s caregivers.
- Senate Bill 404 (Jackson): ERA is leading the effort to pass a California bill, SB 404, that would include “familial status” as a protected status under the employment discrimination provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Learn more and take action.
- Expanding Paid Family Leave To Include Caregiver Benefits for Siblings, Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Parents in Law: This year, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 770 to allow workers to receive partial pay through California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, when they must miss work to care for siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents in law.
- Prohibiting Employers from Retaliating Against Employees for Receiving Paid Family Leave Benefits: This year, Senator Mark DeSaulnier introduced SB 761 to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for obtaining or attempting to obtain Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits. The PFL program currently does not protect workers from retaliation by employers for use of the PFL program. The bill thus provides an essential protection for California’s caregivers. Learn more.
- ERA advocates for enhanced protections for working families at the administrative enforcement and rulemaking level.
- In 2012, ERA submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) urging increased protections for pregnant workers and caregivers.
- ERA and other women’s and civil rights group recently achieved a significant victory to better protect pregnant workers in California through revision of state regulations in December 2012. Learn more.
Helping Pregnant Women and Caregivers Address Discrimination and Unfair Treatment at Work
- ERA engages in selective litigation to highlight the problems faced by working families. ERA currently represents several women in developing pregnancy discrimination cases, including low wage, immigrant, and minority workers who often face egregious discrimination.
- Meet Joanna: ERA Helps Pregnant Mechanic Find a Reasonable Accommodation and Keep Her Job.
- In 2011-2012, with the support of a fellowship funded by NYU School of Law, ERA created a program focused on helping pregnant workers keep their jobs without compromising their health. These efforts include advocacy for the right of pregnant workers to minor accommodations at work, and informal negotiations with employers to address problems quickly and without the need for litigation. Learn more.
Educating Caregivers About Their Workplace Rights
- ERA has formed a partnership with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to provide doctors with educational materials about their patients’ rights to pregnancy and family/medical leave. Read our ERA Doctor Fact Sheet re Pregnancy Accommodation
- ERA expanded its partnerships with the health care community through a fellowship funded by UC Hastings School of Law. Through the fellowship, ERA provided trainings to OB/GYN, maternal care, and infant care medical providers about their patients’ workplace rights. Learn more.
- ERA also collaborates closely with the California Work and Family Coalition to advance policy and legislative goals to protect working families.