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Under the dark, cleaning workers face rape and harassment

The isolation was what made more than Erika Morales feel distrust his work on the night shift persian rug cleaners . Already it is beginning to feel the loneliness like a trap.

It happens that an autumn night, after everyone else had gone home, she came to do the cleaning at a branch of Bank of America. In the silence of the empty building binding, she was scrubbing toilets and vacuuming the hallways. He caught the distorted reflection of his own face in the glass of the window, knowing that the other side there was nothing but darkness.

ABM’s lawyers said the company has updated its written policies and training since the government demand was finalized.

“In fact they met the terms we bargained, which, we think, addressed part of it. Does that answer into practice at national level? “Said Anna Park, federal lawyer. “I can not say. Let’s hope so”.

Today, ABM continues to respond to cases of sexual harassment in the courts. Since early 2010 the company has been sued seven times in federal courts and at least nine times in the California courts.

In most cases, the company reaches a resolution without admitting guilt.Sometimes the company prevails.

His next challenge will come this fall. The company has a scheduled trial in the case that three Southern California women claim that they were harassed, assaulted or raped by the same worker ABM, who holds the floors. Women have a known claim: they say their complaints were ignored ABM.

They tell them that the abuse was escalándose for months. A woman says she was raped in autumn 2009 and several months later another woman said she had been assaulted by the same man. She says that when she reported the incident immediately to a manager told him to return to his task. The manager told him not to contact the monitoring company and that he would call the police.

Eventually, she got tired of waiting for an answer, she says, and went to the authorities on their own. The man waxing floors ended up pleading guilty to sexual assault. He served a sentence of one year in prison and came out with five years under probation.

ABM held in legal documentation that had taken immediately to receive complaints action, dismissing the man waxing floors, and that should prevent these women initiate legal action because they had already settled claims against the company by compensation insurance workers based on the same allegations.

After all, few people win against ABM in trials. Maria Bojorquez is one of them.

She accused a supervisor of raping her while she cleaned the office of a law firm in the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco in 2004. She says she was fired after filing her complaint. ABM researcher had decided that Bojorquez claims were inconclusive, but when the case came to trial in 2012, jurors ruled that ABM had failed to prevent harassment and had been fired for filing claims. A Bojorquez you were given more than $ 800,000 in damages. The company appealed.

During a recent hearing for the appeal of that case, the lawyer said ABM cases of violence in the workplace involving other employees have not due to be referred to during the trial. Appearing before a panel of judges, he said the company has “tens of thousands of employees installed throughout the United States and internationally, many of whom work in remote locations at night under minimal supervision.”

“Sometimes bad things happen,” he said.

***

During the past six years, the masses have come to know as Erika MoralesDJ Bunny Light FM Radio station located within a bustling market of Bakersfield.

After leaving his job at ABM, Morales was manager of a restaurant and nightspot. Finally her boss hired to encourage events in a local radio station. She discovered that although she is not necessarily a flashy guy, his voice becomes irresistibly gold once found at the microphone.

Look transition from Erika to DJ Bunny is like watching a grill burst into flames. At the station, she puts on headphones and read horoscopes without much effort or promote rock concerts in Spanish. During the intervals between pieces of news voice resounding expresses its gratitude to people who have written to him by Facebook from California, Argentina or Peru.

In the panorama unlimited Internet radio, Morales is very dear because it has been willing to talk openly about difficult issues. Tearfully expressed their listeners have asked his advice on how to file a complaint of sexual assault to the police or what to do to separate themselves from an abusive relationship.

Until one day in late February, she revealed that she had never talked about these issues with authority under its own tragic experience. But she was on the verge of a turning point. He had scheduled one of his usual guests, a policeman from the California Highway Patrol, and she had promised their listeners a program about problems in the workplace.

Erika Morales

Erika Morales is popularly known by his nickname DJ Bunny on Light FM, a radio station in the Bakersfield market. His followers appreciate his willingness to speak candidly about tough issues.Credit: FRONTLINE

When the music stopped, she leaned into the microphone and let the words: “Something delicate and this … and personally my turn, I never said this part of my life in the air. Many few people know of this period but I want this to serve … ”

A Morales put the trembling voice uncharacteristic way. “And pardon me if, maybe I get a little emotional but it is still an issue not me, I’m trying to overcome it,” she said.

Morales told his listeners that she had been sexually harassed at work and that she knows that it is difficult to present your case. She never managed to go to the police. At that time I could not find the value. She told his listeners that in her case, she and others had tried to tell his bosses, but nothing was done.

“And the problem is when you do not believe,” Morales said.

However, she urged them to his listeners to report the problem. He reminded that it was wrong and that guilt was never them.

“I think that’s not fair,” she said. “Because you go and do your job clean, and you’ll win, you’ll earn the money without seeking something wrong.”

For nearly half an hour, Morales and the officer of the California Highway Patrol exchanged words on how to handle the problem of sexual harassment. And then he played them pass when rock music. He dismissed the official, put a song with backbeat and turned off his microphone before exhaling deeply.

Your phone lit up message. “We are with you,” said one. Another stated: “Keep fighting.” He was surprised by the answer. She hoped rather than criticize.

Again at the microphone, thanked everyone for their support while preparing to put “Sweet Child O ‘Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. He was beginning to regain his rhythm so lively and his manner of expression.

It’s been a decade since Morales left his job at ABM. She said she had put aside her fears to file his complaint because he was thinking of her daughter, her mother and other women who still were not ready to rule “.

When Morales had given her keys and tried to tell a supervisor for the last time what was going on and he sent him away, but she remembers broached: “And when I left I said, ‘It’s going to be someone, someone who will open his mouth ‘ “.

Morales is still amazed by the way your voice is broadcast. “I never imagined I would be the one who would open his mouth,” she said.


 
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