Prominent LA Women Urge Governor Brown: Sign AB 1978 (Gonzalez)

Influential Women to Hold Screening of Rape on the Night Shift at City Hall Followed by Rape Survivors Speaking Out About Stories of Sexual Exploitation; Bill Will Empower Workers to Stand Up Against Abuse

Sacramento, CA – Mayor Garcetti’s Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero, and a group of prominent LA women leaders are holding a screening of the film Rape on the Night Shift to encourage Gov. Brown to sign the bill AB 1978, which provides needed protections against rape for immigrant women janitors. After the screening, women who have survived rape and sexual harassment at work will tell their stories in the hope that their courage in breaking the silence will help Governor Brown understand the need to provide protections for women janitors that work alone on the nightshift.

The women and their allies are asking Governor Brown to commit to sign AB 1978 (Gonzalez), a bill that will protect workers in a low-road, low-wage industry that exploits immigrants and women economically and sexually.

WHO:

  • Immigrant women janitors who are survivors of rape and sexual harassment at work
  • Ana Guerrero, Chief of Staff for Mayor Garcetti
  • Alejandra Valles, Secretary/Treasurer SEIU United Service Workers West
  • Julie Gutman Dickinson, Labor Lawyer and Partner at Bush Gottlieb

WHAT:
The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero are holding a forum to screen the documentary Rape on the Night Shift and for women to speak out about rape and sexual abuse in the workplace. They are urging the Governor to commit to signing AB 1978 (Gonzalez)

WHEN:
Friday, August 26th
5pm Survivors available for interviews
5:30 pm Program starts

WHERE:
Los Angeles City Hall – Bradley Tower
200 N. Spring St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90012.

BACKGROUND

Female janitors face unique risk of sexual harassment and assault as their jobs often require working alone at night in empty buildings, an epidemic PBS Frontline profiled in “Rape on the Night Shift,” and in a report from UC Berkeley earlier this year: “Perfect Storm: How Supervisors Get Away with Sexually Harassing Workers Who Work Alone at Night.”

AB 1978, the Property Services Worker Protection Act would enhance the Department of Industrial Relations’ authority to prevent assault by requiring employer training and prevention plans, establishing a hotline for victims, and toughening enforcement for employers who leave workers at risk.

Since “Rape on the Night Shift,” Immigrant Women Rising – a movement of janitors and allies mobilized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Service Workers West (USWW) has led a new campaign to end sexual harassment and workplace sexual assault. In addition to advancing AB 1978, the movement was successful in securing protections for property service workers in new industry-wide contracts negotiated in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Orange County.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate and go to Governor Brown’s desk in the next few days.

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