California lawmakers urged to take action on sexual harassment in government

California lawmakers are dealing with a growing sexual misconduct scandal that has led to questions about whether there are enough protections available for victims and whistleblowers. One of the driving forces behind the recent focus on sexual harassment in California politics is an open letter released by more than 140 women in October.

In it, the women denounced the government’s culture of pervasive sexual harassment and sexism, citing “dehumanizing behavior,” inappropriate sexual comments, groping and retaliatory threats. Women lawmakers, legislative staffers and lobbyists signed the letter as part of a movement dubbed “We Said Enough.” The letter said that men have “leveraged their power and positions to treat us however they would like.”

In the letter’s aftermath, two Los Angeles Assemblymen — Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh — resigned due to allegations of sexual assault and abuse. In early January, California Senator Tony Mendoza announced a month-long leave of absence from the Senate following sexual harassment complaints by his former interns.

Although he denied any wrongdoing, Mendoza agreed to step down temporarily in order to allow the investigation to proceed. He was stripped of various leadership positions after three women accused him of sexual misconduct in November. Another former staffer alleged she was fired for reporting inappropriate behavior.

Many women do not report sexual misconduct by lawmakers or legislative staff because they fear losing their jobs or other forms of professional retaliation. In addition, current reporting procedures are believed to result in more negative consequences for victims rather than wrongdoers.

Lawmakers have been urged to overhaul the state Assembly’s current system for tracking and investigating sexual harassment complaints. During a public hearing in November, witnesses said the Assembly could take immediate action such as establishing a confidential hotline for anyone in the Capitol to file a complaint at any time, or providing crisis counseling to victims.

Read more

wage theft lawyer

Oakland Restaurant Settles Wage Theft Lawsuit With Former Workers

Certain types of workplaces are more prone to wage theft, and the restaurant industry is one of them. Not being paid minimum wage, being forced to work without any breaks and not…

READ ARTICLE
workplace sexual harassment lawyer

Six Women Sue Tesla For Sexual Harassment at Fremont Factory

Six current and former female employees filed separate lawsuits accusing Tesla of enabling a workplace culture of “rampant” sexual harassment at its factory in Fremont, California. The company allegedly created a work…

READ ARTICLE
wage theft lawyer

Bay Area Burger King Franchisee cited $1.9 Million For Wage Theft

Fast food restaurants are notorious for their aggressive cost-cutting measures to boost profits, which often result in workers not being paid the full wages they are owed. It is important to hold…

READ ARTICLE
wrongful termination lawyer

Former Walmart Pharmacist Gets 27 Million Dollars in Retaliation Lawsuit

A former Walmart pharmacist was awarded $27.5 million in damages after the District Court of Central California found the company wrongfully terminated her in retaliation for complaining about noncompliance issues. She and…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
cnnmoney
marin-ij
dailypost
news10