A supervisor makes sexual jokes to a co-worker at a construction site. A nail salon manager calls a worker to his office, where he has pornographic materials clearly displayed on the walls.
Both are among the many examples of sexual harassment that occur daily in our city.
The #MeToo movement has focused on high profile professions: entertainment, media and politics. But it is no secret that sexual harassment appears in every industry.
Workers in clothing stores, fast food and home health care are also exposed to harassment. Most are immigrants and / or people of color, and may face even more obstacles when they speak and face abuses of power.
But now, because of the "Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act" recently enacted by the City Council, every employee, whatever the size of their employment site, is protected from harassment. sexuality by the city's human rights law.
The law "Stop sexual harassment in New York", composed of eleven of the most ambitious anti-bullying laws in the country, also protects independent and contracted workers, and even unpaid interns.
Ending harassment forever means changing the culture of the workplace. That is why the law also requires that all workplaces (private and public sector) visibly publish laws against harassment. Companies with 15 or more employees have to provide annual training on what harassment is and what to do if they experience it or witness it.
Together, these new laws represent a great step to truly protect all New Yorkers. The issue of sexual harassment and how to address it will be introduced into the culture of each workplace in New York City.
Sexual harassment is often hidden from view, with its victims suffering in silence and having long-term consequences for themselves and their families. We are asking all New Yorkers to spread the word and tell their friends, loved ones and co-workers about the "Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC" Act and the protections it offers.
The city council and community organizations such as ALIGN will watch carefully to ensure that these new laws are implemented effectively, so that each and every worker feels empowered to speak and abusers know that they face real consequences.
-Helen Rosenthal is president of the Women's Committee of the City Council and one of the people who wrote the "Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act." Maritza Silva-Farrell is executive director of ALIGN, an alliance of labor and community organizations.
To read the full article, visit El Diario