Sexual Harassment is defined as creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Women in Film and our community have a Zero Tolerance policy on Sexual Harassment. If you or someone you know has experienced harassment in the workplace, speak up please. As a community we can build better and safer work environments for us all through education and resources, and by taking a stand.
It's the 21st century. We hoped sexual harassment would be over or on its way out by now. Unfortunately, it's alive and well.
Any working woman in the early 20th century dealt with unwanted sexual advances and worse. Most simply were told to quit their jobs to deal with lecherous bosses. The moving pictures industry grew up in this era and was, and is, clearly no different from any other.
This deplorable state of affairs for working women continued into the 1970s. The women's liberation movement brought the problem to the forefront and women shared their experiences. They banded together as they had done in the past. Women sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Supreme Court upheld these cases in the 1980s.
The current laws haven't stopped the problem though.
Harassment comes in many forms including repeated unwanted sexual or romantic advances, off color jokes or stories, displaying pornographic material, indecent exposure, or teasing related to gender.
It's important to document in detail each incident and include witnesses. Report it immediately to your employer or person in charge. Other options include contacting an attorney or filing a complaint with the Washington Human Rights Commission or contacting your industry organizations for guidance on how to proceed.
Sexual harassment is illegal, and you don't have to put up with it.
Here is where you can start by accessing tools and information:
Washington State Legislature WAC 392-190-056
CIVIL RIGHTS AND LEGAL RECOURSE – SEATTLE
If someone is being sexually harassed on set or in their workplace, there are several City resources that are designed to help. The Seattle Office of Civil Rights is a tremendous resource with skilled staff who are adept at working with sexual harassment allegations. If one wants to work with the Seattle Office of Civil Rights to file a complaint or start an investigation, here’s where to start:
Here’s where one can open a complaint:
Sometimes, depending on the situation at hand, the Office of Labor Standards could be a better option:
Here’s where one can open a complaint:
WCSAP* – Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Program
There are 38 Community Sexual Assault Programs (CSAPs) that are accredited by the Washington Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in Washington State within this coalition. Trained advocates may provide the following services:
- Free, confidential 24/7 hotline
- information about sexual assault
- referral to other community service providers
- crisis intervention and on-going support
- medical and legal advocacy, community awareness, outreach and prevention activities,
- All accredited programs must meet standardized criteria for their services. Some programs also provide specialized services in the form of support groups, therapy, or medical social work.
National Sexual Assault Hotline. Phone: 1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center*
Washington SAFE Alliance
Gender Justice League
INDUSTRY POSITION STATEMENTS
IATSE Statement Against Sexual Harassment in the Entertainment Industry
Sisters and Brothers —
As you may recall, on October 20, 2017, following allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving a growing list of global media companies, celebrities, and other prominent media figures, the International Alliance issued a strongly worded statement condemning sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. In addition, the IATSE recently reissued its anti-harassment policy, and Delegates to the IATSE’s 68th Quadrennial Convention in July unanimously passed a resolution rebuking harassment and bullying in the workplace. The Statement and Resolution are available here.
The importance of this topic compels me to address this issue with you directly.
We have all heard the recent stories of alleged misconduct committed against workers by powerful people. Such conduct is reprehensible, and must not be tolerated. Because of the unfair balance of power between rank-and-file workers and authority figures in the entertainment industry, workers often remain silent in the face of such behavior, fearing that, if they were to speak out, they would be subject to repercussions, reprisals, or other pressures. However, we are hopeful that the deluge of recent media reports will embolden workers to speak out about, and fight back against, this horrible conduct. We hear you, and I want you to know that the IATSE is here to help, in whatever way it can.
Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in reports of inappropriate workplace conduct to the IATSE Safety Hotline and to our International Representatives. In addition, media reports detailing alleged sexual harassment have often quoted individuals working under IATSE collective bargaining agreements. In response, the International and its affiliated local unions are reminding employers that employers are responsible for providing a safe, respectful work environment, free from any discrimination, including sexual harassment.
We will continue to remind employers of their responsibilities in this regard, because we know that all workers suffer when their workplace is unsafe. The worker who experiences the harassment is humiliated. And the workers who must witness the harassment are demeaned.
I encourage all members of the IATSE to again review the IATSE’s October 20, 2017 statement condemning sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. I also encourage all members to widely publicize the IATSE Safety Hotline (844 IA AWARE / 844-422-9273). You may immediately contact the Safety Hotline, or your local union, concerning workplace hazards and threats.
Please also remember that workplace harassment and unwanted conduct is a sensitive, difficult, and deeply personal topic. I ask that you acknowledge, as I do, the difficulties faced by fellow workers when they disclose this unacceptable treatment.
Workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment, is insidious and we must all do our part to eradicate this scourge on our industry. The IATSE and its affiliated local unions are here to support you. Together, we can work toward a brighter future, where no worker is subjected to this deplorable conduct.
Matthew D. Loeb
International President, IATSE
EDUCATION, INFORMATION, AND THE LAW
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Seattle Branch
FindLaw: Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take
The Hill: 6 Steps to Take If You're Sexually Harassed at Work
Bustle: 11 Steps to Take If You’ve Been Sexually Harassed at Work
Direct response -vs- reporting
Indiewire: hollywood sexism
Forbes: the good men project
Sexual Jokes and Lewd Conversations In the Workplace: Where's The Line?
Free self-defense class, Sunday's at Evolv Fitness.