D017 Reducing Sexual Harassment, Assault and Exploitation in the Workplace

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognize that sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation in the workplace occur in situations of specific vulnerabilities, such as financial precarity, job insecurity, lack of immigration status, and physical isolation on the job; and that these vulnerabilities often occur together, such that many of the workers most vulnerable to sexual harassment, assault and exploitation are low-income women, immigrants and/or women of color; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church support public policies and other efforts to reduce sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation in the workplace, including:

  • Elimination of a separate minimum wage for tipped workers (set in the United States since 1991, and at the time of this resolution, at $2.13/hour on the federal level; 42 states have a lower minimum wage for tipped workers than for non-tipped workers), recognizing that wait staff and other tipped workers are effectively working for tips given their extremely low wage, and therefore often feel unable to risk their potential tips by complaining to or about customers who are harassing them;
  • Policies to reduce low-road subcontracting in public sector contracts, and to strengthen enforcement of labor and harassment laws for contracted workers, recognizing that workers for low-bid firms report higher levels of on-the-job sexual harassment than those who work for high-road contractors or who are direct employees;
  • Provision of adequate funding for labor standards enforcement offices at local, state, and federal levels to strengthen enforcement of equal opportunity, sexual harassment, and whistleblower laws;
  • Policies and laws at federal, state, and local levels that assure workers of protection from immigration enforcement when they report workplace violations, including sexual harassment, assault and exploitation;
  • Policies and laws at federal, state, and local levels to protect and strengthen the rights of agricultural and domestic workers, including the right to organize, the right to take adequate breaks, the right to reasonable working hours and overtime pay, and the development of mechanisms for reporting and enforcing laws against sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation;
  • Efforts by unions and other worker associations, and employers, to enact workplace standards, trainings, safety measures, and reporting systems to reduce sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church support the rights of workers everywhere to organize, whether in traditional labor unions or new forms of worker organization, in order to have a voice in their workplaces, including on issues related to sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation.


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