In the wake of the many sexual harassment allegations coming out of Hollywood, Women in Film, the industry’s leading advocate of gender parity in Hollywood, created a sexual harassment hotline where victims can call for legal advice or to report claims. Although recent movements such as the “#metoo” movement that took over social media are helping to normalize victims coming forward, it may still be hard for those that fear repercussions to come forward with their stories. The Women in Film hotline hopes to help.
WHAT IS THE WOMEN IN FILM’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT HOTLINE?
With the help of law firms, such as Feldman Browne, APC, the organization has set up a sexual harassment helpline (323-545-0333) that can be accessed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST from Monday to Friday. Professionals with a background working with harassment and abuse survivors, including in the entertainment industry, answer calls, talk to callers, and help them determine further steps. They may suggest support groups, individual counseling, therapists, or legal action.
If the caller decides they want to speak to a lawyer, the Women in Film organization has created a list of participating attorneys who have experience with sexual harassment cases. All of the attorneys have strong backgrounds in employment, labor, and civil rights cases.
Feldman Browne, APC is proud to be a participating law firm and help provide guidance and potential representation for victims of harassment. According to the founders of the hotline, “this plan provides victims of sexual harassment with certain resources to take actions consistent with their level of comfort and gives the victim control over how to address the violation and when. It also decreases concerns about legal costs.”
TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
There are two main categories of sexual harassment that are prevalent today – quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo: “Quid pro quo” (Latin for “this for that”) sexual harassment is when someone conditions a job, promotion, or other work benefit on your submission to sexual advances or other conduct based on sex.
Hostile work environment: “Hostile work environment” sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex unreasonably interfere with your work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. You may experience sexual harassment even if the offensive conduct was not aimed directly at you. The harassment must be severe OR pervasive to be unlawful. That means that it alters the conditions of your employment and creates an abusive work environment. A single act of harassment may be sufficiently severe to be unlawful.
Behaviors that may be sexual harassment:
- unwanted sexual advances
- offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors
- leering, gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or other images
- derogatory comments or jokes
- graphic comments, sexually degrading words or suggestive or obscene messages or invitations
- physical touching or assault, as well as impeding or blocking movements
We believe that any and all victims of sexual harassment should have access to legal services and understand their rights. If you feel your rights have been violated, don’t stand in the shadows any longer – take control of the situation, partner with a proven employment law firm, and stand up for your rights.