As any good sexual harassment attorney knows, one of the biggest deterrents to victims coming forward with their stories is fear of retaliation and the effects it can have on their careers and well-beings. This issue is compounded infinitely for immigrant families, who not only fear risking their careers, but their entire way of life, their homes, the potential of deportation, and possible separation from their families. Even those who are in the process of becoming a legal citizen are fearful causing waves could put their citizenship in jeopardy. Sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault in the workplace is scary enough, but these personal ramifications add an exclamation point to the end of an already very frightening sentence.
The fear of deportation, even for those who are following all the rules and are actively seeking citizenship, has increased significantly recently with the current administration making a very public example of non-Americans. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in recent months invoked a “no tolerance” policy when it comes to people crossing the border from Mexico, offering little room to differentiate between asylum seekers and those committing violent crimes or trafficking drugs. This has created an environment where those already in the country tend to lay low, keep quiet, and hold their breaths to see what happens next.
While this strategy is logical, it is also making immigrants extremely vulnerable to predators who know the best victim is a quiet victim. For decades, women in the workplace in particular have understood the ways these predators function, and have just recently been given a platform to speak out against pervasive and illegal patterns of harassment and abuse through the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Our Orange County sexual harassment attorneys know this has been monumental in fighting misdeeds in workplaces across the country, raising awareness, and fortifying policies to protect workers. We also are keenly aware, however, that many, such as immigrants, continue to suffer in silence out of fear.
A recent report from ACLU delved into groups most vulnerable to sexual harassment and found people who fell into cross-sectional categories were at higher risk. Low income workers, a category in which immigrants often fall, do not have enough financial security to risk disrupting the balance at their places on employment. Women have traditionally been vulnerable, both because men often dominate positions of authority in workplaces but also because men often have a physical advantage. This creates a trifecta of risk for low-income, immigrant women when it comes to sexual harassment.
Many immigrants are also unsure what their rights are without full American citizenship. This can be tricky to understand on your own, which is where the help of a trusted employment lawyer is helpful. What is clear, however, is that American citizens are not allowed to break the law simply because someone who isn’t an American is involved. No one should have to be afraid to go to work or to speak up when atrocities are occurring on the job. Sexual abuse should never be the price one pays in order to feed their families. That is why we offer free case evaluations. Our skilled legal team will analyze the specifics of your case risk-free and decide how to work from there to protect your rights hold employers accountable.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
Meet Immigrant Women Who Spoke Out About Sexual Abuse at Work, Dec. 7, 2017, By Patrice Taddonio, PBS
More Blog Entries:
Restaurants Ordered to Pay Back Wages, Penalties to Immigrant Workers, Sept. 21, 2017, Orange County Employment Lawyers Blog