Search Results for: AB 1978

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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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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“Rape on the Night Shift” Survivors to Governor Brown: Sign AB 1978 (Gonzalez)

Asm. Lorena Gonzalez Joins Immigrant Women Janitors as they Share Stories of Sexual Exploitation; Bill Will Empower Workers to Stand Up Against Abuse

Sacramento, CA – Immigrant women janitors will take their call for action against rape and sexual exploitation at work directly to Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday. Women who have survived rape and sexual harassment at work will take their stories of exploitation and abuse to Governor Brown’s office as hundreds of their colleagues and supporters hold vigil outside the Capitol.

The women and their allies are asking Governor Brown to commit to sign AB 1978 (Gonzalez), a bill that would provide important protections for 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
  • Asm. Lorena Gonzalez
  • Clergy members

WHAT:
Hold a “speak out” in front of Governor Brown’s office to share their stories of rape and sexual harassment at work, ask the Governor to commit to signing AB 1978 (Gonzalez)

WHEN:
Tuesday, August 23rd
11:00 am Survivors available for interviews
11:15 am Program starts
11: 30 am Delegation of survivors goes to Gov. Brown’s office

WHERE:
State Capitol, North Steps

VISUALS:
Women dressed in white with red handprints, symbolizing their vulnerability to sexual exploitation on the job. Clergy blessing the rape and harassment survivors.

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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Assembly Passes Landmark Bill to Protect Janitors from Rape on the Job

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement today after the Assembly passed AB 1978 (Gonzalez) on a 51-23 vote. 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:

“Today’s victory in the Assembly belongs to the immigrant women workers who are rising up against sexual and economic abuse on the job. We join these brave women in applauding Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and the legislators who took a stand against rape on the night shift with today’s vote.

“The movement of immigrant women and their sisters and brothers in labor and the community is gaining momentum with this victory and with important and hard-won protections against sexual assault in new contracts won by workers in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Bay Area. When passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Brown, this bill will give the women who do the tough job of cleaning our offices greater personal security and dignity.”

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Progressive Organizations Unite to Pass “Dream Builder” Bills

Progressive Organizations Unite to Pass “Dream Builder” Bills

Coalition Delivers Counter-Punch to Cynical Chamber of Commerce “Job Killers” with Bills that Elevate Workers, Communities

Sacramento, CA – A broad coalition of progressive organizations announced they have formed the Building the California Dream Alliance and outlined a united, ambitious agenda to uplift families and expand economic opportunities for Californians from birth to retirement.

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACLU of California Center for Advocacy & Policy, ACCE, Advancement Project, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Budget & Policy Center, California Calls, California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Labor Federation, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Courage Campaign, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Health Access, Lutheran Office of Public Policy, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Mujeres Unidas, PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliated of CA, PolicyLink, Progressive Era Project (PEP), SEIU California, Sierra Club of California, Voices for Progress, and the Western Center on Law & Poverty.

SEIU California Executive Director Jon Youngdahl said the Alliance’s legislative agenda will directly counter the annual “Job Killer” list issued by the Chamber of Commerce. “For too long, we have allowed a few CEOs to limit what’s possible in California; today is a new day,” he said. “Our ‘Dream Builders’ define a new progressive vision for a Golden State of unlimited opportunity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status or age.”

The legislation endorsed by the Alliance today promotes broadly shared prosperity and economic security, educational and job opportunities, a clean environment and a healthy planet, justice, quality healthcare for all, responsive and democratic government, and a strong safety net.

“The Building the California Dream Alliance harnesses the policy expertise, diversity, and grassroots organizing power of dozens of organizations committed to a broad vision of progress for our state,” said Elizabeth Landsberg, Executive Director of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “Together we will advocate for policies that put people and communities first – ahead of profit or political gain – to provide the California Dream for all.”

At a news conference today, the Alliance identified the following as top priorities this legislative session:

  • SB 1143 (Leno) Ends use of solitary confinement for juveniles, bringing California into line with international human rights standards.
  • SB 380 (Pavley) AB 2722 (Burke) A package of bills to address the impact of methane emissions on public health and climate change, and that will foster a integrative, collaborative approach to comprehensively address disproportionately impacted communities that have suffered from environmental pollution and neglect.
  • AB 533 (Bonta) Protects consumers from being hit with surprise bills from out of network doctors for care received at in-network facilities (hospitals, labs, etc.).
  • SB 23 (Mitchell) Repeals the maximum family grant rule for CalWORKS recipients.
  • SB 1234 (De León) Implements the Secure Choice retirement program to help solve the problem of millions of seniors retiring into poverty, by providing a low-cost, portable, low risk way for low-income private sector Californians to save for retirement.
  • AB 1978 (Gonzalez) Requires all janitorial contractors in the state to register with the Department of Industrial Relations in order to provide janitorial services. This bill also creates sexual harassment and sexual violence training requirements for janitorial and security supervisors and employees.

See the full list of Dream Builder legislation at http://cadreambuilder.org/dreambuilder

The coalition also unveiled a list of “Dream Killers” – bills that deny opportunities families and individuals need to work their way out of poverty and live in dignity in the Golden State.

See the list of Dream Killer legislation at http://cadreambuilder.org/dreamkiller

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On Denim Day 2016 Women Legislators Stand with Immigrant Women Janitors to End Sexual Assault on the Job

Sacramento, CA – In a striking demonstration of solidarity at the State’s Capitol, several women legislators in the California Assembly wore janitorial uniform shirts in addition to denim today – showing their support for the cause of Immigrant Women Rising and Asm. Lorena Gonzalez’s Assembly Bill 1978, an effort to end sexual assault of janitors in their workplaces. The event took place on “Denim Day” – an international day of awareness around sexual assault prevention.

Georgina Hernandez, a former janitor from Los Angeles said, “Sexual harassment is the reality for female janitorial workers. No one wants to talk about it but it happens all the time. I have a right to work free of harassment and violence. I should feel safe at work.”

An epidemic of sexual assault and rape of women janitors while they are at work was brought to light through recent groundbreaking reporting in a news investigation titled, “Rape on the Nightshift” as well as a UC Berkeley’s “Race to the Bottom” report on the harsh working conditions found in the janitorial industry.

AB 1978 (Gonzalez) will begin tackling this issue by requiring training and creating a hotline and by holding janitorial companies accountable for workplace conduct directed toward their female employees. Women janitors represented by the Service Employees International Union SEIU) United Service Workers West (USWW) have also made sexual assault and rape prevention a centerpiece of contract negotiations now taking place across California.

“I am proud of the brave women who have come forward to end the silence about sexual harassment, assault, and rape on the job,” Gonzalez said. “I’m proud of the women who shared their stories today about their vulnerability at work, and proud to stand with so many of my colleagues to bring home the importance of passing AB 1978.”

Hundreds of women rallied on the south steps of the State Capitol convened by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CalCASA). Participants included public officials, victims, victim-advocates and California leaders who called on legislators to sign a pledge against sexual violence.

In addition to the display of janitorial uniform shirts from the janitors and legislators, all participants wore denim, which has become a recognized symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault. Denim Day is recognized as a prevention campaign and protest against the destructive attitude of sexual assault throughout the country and across the globe.

In 1999, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans, stating that she would have had to have received help to remove them, insinuating that consensual sex took place in the incident in question rather than rape. Denim Day has been recognized in California for the past 15 years.

“Today’s demonstration shows the power of immigrant women rising up to fight injustice on the job,” said Alejandra Valles, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU-USWW. “Today’s demonstration of support from Legislative women sends a strong message on Denim Day: wearing a janitor’s uniform is not an invitation for rape or economic exploitation.”

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