County Council holds forum on workplace sexual harassment

  • Published in Local

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — For months the “Me Too” movement was among the biggest stories in the nation.

Reporters, politicians, movie producers and stars were all accused of sexual harassment – something all industries learned that they were not immune from – including the Montgomery County government. On Tuesday, representatives from the County’s departments gathered to talk about workplace harassment more than a month after custodial staff accused Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel of making sexist and racist comments toward them.

“So I think kind of given the climate of the, you know, the nation and what’s going on right now, I do think we need to take a closer look,” said Shawn Stokes, director of the Office of Human Resources for Montgomery County.

Other County department heads and human resources managers joined Stokes on the panel in order to summarize their department’s policies on harassment and mandatory workplace training required for all department employees. While the particulars of each County department differ, all County employees are required to go through some sort of workplace harassment training.


County resident recounts problems with Hollywood sexism

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County native Kat Hess says she always wanted to work in the film industry.

“By the time I graduated from college, it was an absolute obsession of mine and I somehow convinced my parents to let me go to film school to pursue it,” Hess said. She said that attending film school, where male students outnumbered female students in classes by four- or five-to-one ratios, opened her eyes to how women were under-represented in the business.

“This was also where my decision to work in film stopped being just about the pursuit to work in art, it became about representation,” Hess said. “Every screenwriting class I would voice my opinion about either the lack of or the terrible way women were being portrayed. I realized it wasn't just the guys in my class (all of which I do think highly of – most became like brothers to me), but it was representative of a bigger problem in Hollywood. Why aren't women on screen? Why aren't their stories being told? Why are they only in movies in the service of the male storyline?”


“Good Old Boys Club”

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Woman claims climate at WMATA discourages sex assault reporting

metro logoA union shop steward and veteran bus driver for The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority says the culture at WMATA discourages women from coming forward to report sexual harassment.

Linda Mercer, who has been a bus driver for more than 15 years, posted a video on her Facebook page making the claim.

"There's always been a good old boys club within WMATA," Mercer said.

“You can't tell, because when you tell, you're blackballed,” Mercer added.

In the video on her Facebook page she outlined the problem: “There have been plenty of women that have been sexually assaulted, touched in ways they don't want to be touched.”


And it really should be equal justice for all

Accused of sexual misconductHollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, film director James Toback, comedian Louis C.K., Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore, longtime U.S. Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, veteran broadcast journalist and TV host Charlie Rose, Fox News egoist Bill O'Reilly, comedy icon Bill Cosby, and President Donald J. Trump.
These are names on the list of high-profile individuals who have been recently accused of sexual misconduct and the list seems to be growing with new revelations every single day. Sexual misconduct is not and should not ever be acceptable today or in any society or period of time.
However, just like any other inappropriate behavior there are gradations of severity and heinousness and all should not necessarily be painted with the same broad brush. The penalty should fit the crime.


Metro employee sues WMATA for sexual harassment

  • Published in Local

metro logo

A Metro employee is suing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in federal court for sexual harassment from her supervisor.

According to a document Arlancia Williams filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, after Williams reported the situation to WMATA Director Dana Baker, Baker threatened to fire her. Williams said in a document that Baker told her, “‘Since you can’t work under the stress from being harassed, maybe this isn’t for you. Maybe I need to find someone to take your place.’”

According to Williams’ attorney Donna Rucker, this is not the first time she has dealt with a similar case against WMATA.

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