I. Our Pledge
What Members Can Expect of Their WGAE Representatives
We understand that sexual harassment exists in the broader context of sexism and power imbalance, and our union is committed to transforming the culture and power dynamics that currently exist in our industries. This requires collective action as well as individual representation.
We understand that addressing issues of sexual harassment and other inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace requires us to foster a culture of mutual support with our members and with each other as union representatives.
Our responsibilities as union representatives when speaking with WGAE members about sexual harassment and other inappropriate sexual misconduct in the workplace include:
We will respond promptly to each member inquiry and communication.
We will be compassionate and respectful.
We will believe, and not second-guess or doubt, members who bring incidents or concerns about sexual harassment to our attention.
We will assist the member to the extent the member wants us to do so, including:
- Helping document what has happened
- Identifying the employer’s policies and processes on sexual harassment and other inappropriate sexual misconduct in the workplace
- Assisting the member navigate those processes, if appropriate
- Determining the extent to which there might be remedies available under the relevant collective bargaining agreement
- Identifying additional resources, including
- Possible legal claims
- Counseling and other support services
We recognize that members who have been identified as perpetrators might also contact the union for assistance. We will ensure that the same union representative will not work with both the alleged perpetrator and the person who has been the object of the harassment or inappropriate conduct.
II. Resource Guide
Table of Contents
- What is sexual harassment as defined under the law?
- What are the relevant sexual harassment statutes?
- What role does the employer have in addressing sexual harassment?
- What resource does the Guild provide in addressing sexual harassment allegations?
- What other resources are available to Guild members to address sexual harassment?
- Understanding Harassment and Discrimination
1) What is sexual harassment as defined under the law?
Sexual harassment is defined as unsolicited or abusive conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome, unwanted, offensive, intimidating, or hostile. There are two types of sexual harassment claims: “Quid Pro Quo” and “Hostile Work Environment.”
“Quid Pro Quo” sexual harassment occurs when someone demands sexual favors in exchange for favorable employment conditions or opportunities, or threatens to negatively impact a member’s job status.
“Hostile Work Environment” sexual harassment is characterized by conduct that has a purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
2) What are the relevant sexual harassment statutes?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace at the federal level. The statute of limitations is 180 days which can be extended to 300 days if there are state or local laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the same basis. Sexual harassment complaints may be filed with the EEOC online, in person, over the phone or through the mail.
Most states and some municipal governments also have anti-discrimination statutes that prohibit sexual harassment. For example, New York Human Rights Law § 296 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace in New York. The statute of limitations is one (1) year and complaints may be filed online through the New York State Division of Human Rights website.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace in California. The statute of limitations is one (1) year and complaints may be filed in-person, over the phone, or on–line at California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
NYC Human Rights Law, Title 8 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace in New York City. The statute of limitations is one (1) year and complaints may be filed online with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
3) What role does the employer have in addressing sexual harassment?
It is the employer’s legal responsibility to ensure that you can do your work free from sexual harassment. Most employers have established sexual harassment policies that create procedures for filing and investigating sexual harassment complaints. The Guild continually collects the sexual harassment policies and complaint filing contacts & procedures of all Guild signatory companies.
For more information on these policies, please reach out to the relevant Guild representative listed below.
4) What resource does the Guild provide in addressing sexual harassment allegations?
The Guild is committed to ensuring that members work in an environment free from sexual harassment. To that end, the Guild provides free advocacy from professional labor relation specialists.
Please reach out to the relevant Guild representative below:
- Freelance – Geoff Betts, Business Representative – Ext. 852, email@example.com
- Non-Fiction – Jocelyn Krause, Field Representative – Ext. 843, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Digital News – Megan McRobert, Field Representative – Ext. 836, email@example.com
- Broadcast News – Michael Isaac, Business Representative – Ext. 827, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ann Burdick, Director of Legal Services – Ext. 844, email@example.com
5) What other resources are available to Guild members to address sexual harassment?
The Actors Fund provides free confidential counseling, available to all Guild members. The counselors have an awareness of the unique circumstances whereby sexual harassment may occur in the entertainment industry and an understanding of the legal options available to address sexual harassment.
The Actors Fund also hosts a Sexual Harassment Drop-In Support Group that provides a safe and confidential space to seek support.
6) Understanding Harassment and Discrimination
Please click on the image to view the presentation.
We understand that sexual harassment exists in the broader context of sexism and power imbalance, and our union is committed to transforming the culture and power dynamics that currently exist in our industries.
This requires collective action as well as individual representation.