AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, sexual harassment is a pervasive problem affecting the physical and mental health of women, LGBTQIA individuals and men, both in the workplace and in their personal lives; and

WHEREAS, sexual harassment is an insidious and divisive form of discrimination and is clearly prohibited by federal statute under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination; the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which provides for the right to a jury trial and both punitive and compensatory damages when an employee sues an employer for discrimination; and the Violence Against Women Act, first passed in 1994 and most recently extended in 2013, which seeks to improve responses to sexual assault and stalking, among other things; and

WHEREAS, workers who are union members are in a stronger position to resist and fight sexual harassment in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has stated, “Labor has been part of the problem. The sexism and misogyny in our ranks has been tolerated for far too long. Some of you have personally experienced it. The looks. The comments. The innuendos. We must do everything in our power to protect working people from sexism, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and homophobia. And we must hold abusers accountable”:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will vigorously encourage affiliates to enact policies that provide a path for members to safely report and resolve sexual harassment they have experienced in their local, state or national union; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, through its publications and leaders, will take action to inform all members about the many subtle and pervasive, as well as blatant, forms of sexual harassment, and that the AFT will encourage its members to demand that their employers take action to make their workplaces “harassment-free zones”; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage its state and local affiliates to write articles, hold events, and participate in and support the work of community organizations engaged in the fight to eliminate sexual harassment both in the workplace and in the broader arenas of our society; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will provide data, model language and other support to locals to make explicit anti-sexual harassment language readily available on their websites, in their member training sessions, and in their collective bargaining agreements or handbooks.