Around the world, women in the garment industry are facing an endemic of sexual harassment. The garment industry alone does more than $2 trillion in revenue worldwide and employs millions of workers, the majority of whom are women.
While some countries have laws in place prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, 59 countries have no laws to protect women from sexual harassment. And, even in countries where discrimination laws are in place, many women report not knowing what their rights are under the law.
Unfortunately, many workers fear retaliation if they complain of sexual harassment. Workers who complain may find their jobs are gone or contracts not renewed.
Some factory owners avoid regular employment by hiring women on a day-to-day basis – essentially paying them each day, so that they are a daily contract worker rather than a full-time employee. This allows some companies to skirt the discrimination laws of their country.
The #MeToo movement has had a big impact on the garment industry, with more women willing to voice their concerns. Now, it will be a matter of whether the laws in their respective countries support them for speaking up if they choose to do so.
In the United States, sexual harassment is illegal under state and federal law. Remedies vary depending on whether a claim is pursued under a state’s law or federal law.
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment or retaliation, please consider contacting the lawyers at the Bullman Law Firm. We represent workers, not employers. Our number is (503) 987-5000. There is no charge for your call.