Sexual harassment was a major focus in 2017 and the buzz is apt to continue throughout 2018. While the media dedicated most editorials to big-name offenders and victims, it’s important to remember that workers of all economic and social levels face harassment. Furthermore, employees on the lower end of the spectrum don’t have the same access to legal assistance as the rich and famous.
A few members of the elite Hollywood crowd have joined together to help those employees fight harassment, sexual or otherwise. Celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria, have contributed to Time’s Up: a cause to provide funding to low-wage earners so that they may work with talented attorneys.
It makes sense that the aid originates partly from celebrities and producers. Last October, we wrote about the major cases emerging from Hollywood. The rest of California – and America – erupted in discussion about how courts should handle such cases as well as how employers could prevent harassment in the first place.
The women and men behind Time’s Up realize that class plays a role in harassment. It’s easier for managers and prominent figures to take advantage of the people who have little socioeconomic power. Not only do low-income workers face rumors that they fabricate false accusations for profit, but they have fewer resources to prove their claims in court.
In addition, low-wage earners are likely to be confused or intimidated by the legal process in general. They could fear losing their jobs and suffering public ridicule. Time’s Up aims to guide them through free initial consultations or find trustworthy lawyers who agree to lower their fees. The consultations will help low-income workers figure out if they could have a claim before they pay a dime.