Immigrant Women Janitors Succeed in Advancing AB 1978 to Gov. Brown

Bill to Stop “Rape on the Night Shift” Passed by Assembly

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement today after the Assembly sent AB 1978 (Gonzalez) to Governor Brown for his signature. The Property Services Worker Protection Act enacts important reforms in a low-road property services industry that leaves janitors uniquely vulnerable to rape and sexual harassment on the job.

David Huerta, President of SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW), said:

“By stepping out of the shadows and joining with their sisters to demand change, immigrant women have succeeded in bringing attention to “Rape on the Night Shift” and bringing policy change right to Governor Brown’s desk. Now the Governor must stand with these brave women and send a strong signal that California does not tolerate rape or exploitation in the workplace.”

USWW Member Maria Gonzalez, a Janitor and Sexual Assault Survivor said:

“I was sexually assaulted at work, twice. The employer transferred the supervisor and me to the same building. With nowhere to go, I felt trapped. As survivors, we have stepped out of the shadows to fight back against rape and exploitation, because we know the bosses count on our silence to keep us vulnerable. Ya Basta! We built a movement that can’t be stopped because more and more women are coming forward to support each other and create a safe workplace. Now Governor Brown must do his part and sign AB 1978, because no woman should ever be afraid to go to work.”

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