#MeToo Wins for Low-Wage Workers

Low-wage workers, particularly those who are not fluent in English, are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment by supervisors. Jeremy C. Fox, of the Boston Globe, writes about four women who were harassed by the same supervisor at the Atlantic Capes Fisheries in Fall River, Massachusetts, where they worked as shellfish packers. More than five years after the harassment began, with the help of the nonprofit Boston-based workers’ rights organization Justice at Work and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the four workers were awarded a settlement by US District Court Judge Patti B. Saris. Fox explains that the women were subjected to sexual harassment that “left lasting emotional scars” and affected their marriages. Even though each woman complained to human resources about the harassment while it was occurring, managers did nothing to help them. Fox notes that this case is a sign that the #MeToo movement can extend beyond Hollywood and the executive boardroom into factories. A representative of the EEOC, which filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of the four women, said this case is significant because it shows employees that, “the agency will take them seriously if they come forward.” One of the four women interviewed by Fox explained that she feels a kinship to all the other women and men who “stood up to say, ‘me too.’” I feel proud of them and of myself. . . . I had the courage to lift my voice.” We should all say thank you to these brave women for being our role models.   Photo courtesy of https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/woman-showing-a-note-with-the-text-me-too-gm866106596-143920055?clarity=false (iStock standard license).]]>