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National COSH Wins Grant from TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund to Support Survivors of Sexual Harassment and Related Retaliation in the Workplace

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August 14, 2018

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund announced the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) as a recipient of a grant to support low-wage workers who have experienced sexual misconduct or related retaliation in the workplace.

National COSH will use this grant to support the Sexual Harassment Leadership Education Initiative, providing training and support to low-wage workers who are survivors or who are at risk of sexual abuse and harassment.

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund (NWLCF), awarded eighteen grants to organizations around the country to build on its commitment to support survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation across all industries and connect them to attorneys and public relations experts.

With support from Time’s Up, National COSH will assist survivors and those at risk to take action, individually and collectively to report, document and correct workplace abuse and harassment. Earlier this year, National COSH convened Our Turn, bringing together workers and leaders of women’s organizations and community groups from around the country. Our Turn is focused on vulnerable, low-wage workers who are frequently victims of mistreatment on the job, but who typically lack a platform to expose and correct injustice.

National COSH will develop peer education and training for low-wage workers who are building an inclusive movement with a goal of creating workplaces free of sexual harassment and abuse as well as ending retaliation against those who report workplace misconduct.

“The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund believes that no worker at any job should ever have to endure abuse for a paycheck,” said Sharyn Tejani, Director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We want all survivors to know that there are available resources to help them deal with sexual misconduct. The projects awarded today have the potential to change lives, and I could not be more excited for the work that lies ahead.”

“Whether you’re a waitress or an actress, a warehouse worker or a magazine writer, women’s voices must be heard,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of National COSH. “We applaud the women in high-profile industries like media and entertainment who have come forward, with great courage, to tell their stories and put a stop abuse in their workplaces.  With help from TIME’s UP, we’ll provide tools, skills and resources to less visible – but highly vulnerable –workers who also deserve dignity and respect on the job.”

“The women who clean our hotel rooms, pick our fruits and vegetables, prepare and serve our food and contribute to our economy in countless other ways should not – and will not – tolerate assault, groping, verbal abuse or other exploitation as part of their daily working lives,” said Goldstein-Gelb.

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund received more than 120 applications for these funds.  The applications proposed a broad range of diverse public engagement projects, including those offering targeted resources for Latinx workers, Asian immigrants, transgender workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, poultry workers and more.

Awardees were determined based on organizations’ community ties, planned outreach to low-wage workers in target populations, demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights—and with attention to geographic distribution across the United States and diversity in populations served.

About National COSH

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit NationalCOSH.org.

About the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed at and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund, connects those who experience sexual misconduct including assault, harassment, abuse and related retaliation in the workplace or in trying to advance their careers with legal and public relations assistance. The Fund will help defray legal and public relations costs in select cases based on criteria and availability of funds. Donations to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund are tax deductible through the Direct Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or through the National Women’s Law Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  The initiative was spearheaded by actors and others in the entertainment industry, attorneys Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan, and top public relations professionals. Women in Hollywood came together around their own experiences of harassment and assault and were moved by the outpouring of support and solidarity against sexual harassment from women across sectors. This inspired them to help create a Fund to help survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation in all industries—especially low-wage workers. They worked together in an historic first to design a structure that would be both inclusive and effective.

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