Minami Tamaki LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two female janitors who were sexually targeted and abused by male supervisors at their workplace. These women allege that they were subjected to vulgar comments and physically assaulted while they were at work.
One woman also alleges that she was raped at work and then threatened by her rapist. When they complained about the harassment, their employer did nothing.
Sexual harassment of female service workers is a prevalent problem. Last year, the PBS Frontline documentary “Rape on the Night Shift” investigated the sexual abuse faced by many women in the janitorial industry.
Many of these women are immigrants who are undocumented, have little understanding of their employment rights, speak limited English, and desperately need their jobs to support their families. These factors make them afraid to speak out when they are harassed at work. They are assigned to work in isolated areas or on late night shifts, making them particularly vulnerable to harassment and assault.
A recent report on the services industry from the UC Berkeley Labor Center found that 85 percent of surveyed workers who were raped in the workplace had been working alone.
According to the Department of Justice, there are more than 17,000 sexual assaults at work per year. The true number may be higher, as these attacks are often unreported.
Sexual harassment at work is illegal and can cause lasting professional and psychological damage on victims. Employers have a legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including seriously investigating complaints and taking action to correct problems and prevent future harassment. Employers also cannot retaliate against workers who report sexual harassment.
The Consumer and Employee Rights attorneys at Minami Tamaki are experienced in representing victims of sexual harassment and assault. We are committed to helping to eradicate gender violence from the workplace. If you or someone you know has experienced such mistreatment, you may contact us at 415-788-9000 or through this online form.