The Perfect Storm
Helen Chen, Alejandra Domenzain, and Karen Andrews of LOHP recently investigated the problem of sexual harassment and sexual assault among janitors and security guards, also known as property service workers. Our new report complements the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s report on wage theft in the property services industry, Race to the Bottom.
Our key finding is that the property services industry is structured in a way that isolates workers who are uniquely vulnerable to sexual harassment, and then creates conditions in which workers are afraid to step forward to report harassment. We offer recommendations for implementing and enforcing effective sexual harassment policies (the report describes elements of a model policy that go beyond what is required by California law), changing workplace dynamics, improving the legal and regulatory systems, and expanding outreach and services for survivors.
In the janitorial industry, it’s the perfect storm of conditions that come together: extreme vulnerability of a female workforce, a chain of command that’s traditionally male, and a workplace where workers are isolated and alone. It’s set up for abuse to happen.” — Lilia Garcia-Brower, Executive Director of the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund
- Report, “Race to the Bottom: How Low-Road Subcontracting Affects Working Conditions in California’s Property Services Industry” by UC Berkeley Labor Center and LOHP
- On-air radio interview with KPBS in San Diego
- Frontline (PBS) article