New Oregon Bill to Reduce Sexual Harassment Vulnerability in Janitorial Workers

Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace have been steady problems plaguing the labor force for quite some time, and one of the most likely industries in which to experience this is the janitorial industry. While local and federal governments are making efforts to eliminate these concerns across the country, the new bill introduced to the Oregon House of Representatives make this industry a priority.

Reasons for the Emphasized Demand

House Bill 3279 has been introduced to the Oregon House because it has been shown that men and women alike are especially vulnerable to sexual violence in the workplace. This has to do with both the nature of the job as well as the demographics who perform it.

Many custodial personnel are working late at night and alone, which inherently allows for more opportunity from the perspective of potential attackers. Additionally, many of these workers are women, Latina, and undocumented, which contributes to an already low likelihood of reporting the incident, as they may not know their rights, or fear deportation or some other form of retaliation.

How the Bill Proposes a Solution

The bill imparts at least two efforts to decrease this vulnerability:

  • Establish a registry of custodial and janitorial workers – this will make sure that those hired comply with the Bureau of Labor and Industry and are given the rights thereto.
  • Heighten the standard of sexual harassment training – this will promote a higher set of knowledge surrounding the subject, so that workers can identify it and know their rights.

The bill has great ambition to eliminate the ever-present threat of sexual assault or sexual harassment in the workplace for those in the custodial industry, and it is an excellent start to solve a very prevalent issue. However, the bill is still in early phases of becoming a law.

Currently, House Bill 3279 has been assigned to the Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development before it can be passed by the House. It will then need to be passed by the Oregon Senate before it can be officially signed into law.

If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, our firm wants to help. We have decades of experience advocating for workers just like you. Call Mitra Law Group today at (503) 782-0000 to get started with a free case evaluation.


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