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CA service industries leave women vulnerable to sexual harassment

Certain industries in California are found to place women at risk. A recent study has indicated that those women in the property services industry in the state are facing the danger of being subjected to violence and sexual harassment. There are several factors that cause these issues and the study asserts that little is being done to stop it. Those who are in this industry need to know that they have rights under the law to be protected from a hostile working environment.

A large number of women are being employed as security personnel and janitors in California. The study says that since these workers are often alone after dark and are working in buildings that are empty, they can be vulnerable. Some of these workers are subcontracted which can cause them to be subjected to greater hazards. This particular industry is rampant with harassment, especially when they are solitary except for supervisors since it is supervisors who are often perpetrating the harassment. The combination of various factors contributes to the dangers these women face.

In California, from 1990 to 2014, the janitorial service industry grew by 44 percent. Security services grew by 83 percent. Private industries grew by only 20 percent. These workers are employed in large buildings, schools, retail entities, banks and more. With outsourcing, workers are dealing with lower wages, a decrease in benefits, a reduction in fulltime employment, difficult working conditions and illegal acts when hiring in addition to the harassment.

Although a large percentage of women are working in security and as janitors, it is still not known exactly how many of these women were harassed or assaulted. A vast percentage of them are believed to be immigrants who have a language barrier and do not fully understand their rights making it less likely that they will complain.

What these women need to be aware of is that they have rights regardless of the job they are doing, their immigration status and whether they speak English or not. A dangerous or hostile working environment and sexual harassment is a violation of employment law. A victim of harassment needs to have a grasp on her rights.

Source: Capital and Main, “Study Shows Why Women Janitors and Security Guards Are At Risk,” Debra Varnado, March 15, 2016


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