Janitors who have survived sexual assault at work and their supporters are demanding Gov. Jerry Brown sign legislation increasing protections in the industry, and have planned actions across the state to get more attention.
The Legislature on Tuesday passed AB 1978, which would require companies employing janitors to provide sexual assault prevention training every two years and fine those who don't comply.
The bill was inspired by an investigative collaboration, "Rape on the Night Shift," which highlighted the dangers of sexual assault facing mainly immigrant women janitors. While supporters hope Brown will sign the bill by the Sept. 30 deadline, there is some concern he won't, according to Sasha Khokha, host of The California Report Magazine and one of several reporters who spent months investigating the story.
"There's no formal opposition to this bill from property owners or janitorial companies, but I think there is some concern that he may not actually sign it," says Khokha.
On Thursday, survivors shared their stories in downtown Oakland before a screening of the PBS Frontline documentary "Rape on the Night Shift." The group also announced plans to demonstrate throughout the month to keep the issue front and center.