Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work or School

  • July 16, 2018
  • David Baker
  • Comments Off on Sexual Harassment and Assault at Work or School

The public attention being paid to high profile persons subjected to sexual violence and harassment has encouraged persons in lower waged positions with comparable experiences to speak up,  seek support from co-workers and  unions and exercise their rights to justice so they are not doubly violated.

A new book called  In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers, by Bernice Yeung is reviewed in the July 2018 New York Review of Books by Alissa Quart and Barbara Erenreich  (link) The reviewers state:

#MeToo has too often ignored the most frequent victims of abuse, however, such as waitresses or hotel housekeepers. These are among the invisible people who keep society going—cleaning homes, harvesting our vegetables, and serving salads made of these vegetables. Who among those of us who depend on their labor knows their struggles or even their names? It can seem like an uphill battle to bring attention to the working-class victims of harassment, even though these women are often abused in starker and more brutal fashion than their counterparts in Hollywood.

The book gives voice to those who have experienced sexual violence and for too long suffered in silence for fear of being disbelieved or losing their livelihoods.

With greater awareness have come legal safeguards offering those who speak up greater protection in their employment as well as compensation for the harm done by harassers and for which employers can be held responsible. Bakerlaw has experience dealing with cases of sexual assault and harassment involving victims who may previously, whether due to immigration status, low income, language barriers or disability,  may have considered themselves too powerless to have recourse. See A.B. v. Joe Singer Shoes Limited, 2018 HRTO 107 (CanLII)  (link)

Bakerlaw has also provided legal representation in numerous cases involving sexual violence against students, including students with specific vulnerabilities. Remedies in education cases include enhanced safeguards or accommodations at school, special education or other programs to address the consequences of sexual violence, as well as criminal injuries, human rights and tort compensation for the harm done. We have experience assisting students who have experienced sexual violence to ensure they do not lose educational opportunities as a result.

Advice can be provided about reporting assaults to the police, seeking support and representation from unions,  participating in school and workplace investigations, as well as seeking remediation after the fact.

If you would like to get in touch with Bakerlaw, visit our contact (link) page.

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