Mira Sorvino wrote an Op-Ed in the LA Times this week, covering how California has the potential to be the leader in sexual harassment protection.
We now stand a year in from the publication of the fateful articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker that first exposed the predation of film world titan Harvey Weinstein," she wrote. "I was one of the women interviewed by journalist Ronan Farrow, and I contributed my story because I wanted to make change in the world into which my daughters and sons will come of age.
“To institute lasting change, and promote protection and equality under the law for everyone, we must enact legislation that reflects our newfound awareness. Since last winter, I have been championing a slate of bills in the California Legislature under the hashtag #TakeTheLead, which refers to the state’s opportunity to move to the forefront of protecting women’s and all workers’ rights. Co-sponsored by Equal Rights Advocates and the California Employment Lawyers Assn., this is the toughest slate of anti-sexual harassment bills in the nation.
“Five critical bills concerning workplace harassment — AB 1870, SB 224, SB 1343, SB 1300 and AB 3080 — sit on the governor’s desk… Yet we in the survivor community hear that Brown is under intense lobbying pressure to veto at least one of the bills, SB 1300, which would do away with non-disparagement clauses that are slipped into routine paperwork employees must sign when they’re hired, offered a raised or given a bonus. The clauses can come with a hefty fine (up to $1 million) if employees do speak out — against, for example, an abusive boss — even if the statements are true and the conduct broke the law. Untold numbers of victims have been silenced this way, especially those who lack the financial resources for a long, drawn-out legal battle to fight the unfairness of the clause.
“Gov. Brown has spoken out vehemently against corruption, dishonesty and abuse of power in government. Now we urge him to oppose corrupt corporate interests that seek to stifle survivors’ voices and protect illegal, inhuman behavior. We ask him to stand with the millions of people around the world who have raised their voices in a brave chorus of #MeToo and #TimesUp, and to add to his legacy the fearless protection of all working people. We count on him to sign all five bills, and to turn a dream of our movement into reality.”
To read the full Op-Ed, click here.