Photo Courtesy of the City Commission on Human Rights
The ads are scheduled to appear in English and Spanish in nearly 5,000 placements citywide over the next six weeks, including on subway cars and stations, bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks, and in nail salons, barber shops, and bars.
By Forum Staff
The City has launched a five-borough, multi-platform ad campaign to encourage New Yorkers to report sexual harassment incidents in the workplace to the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
According to the City, the multilingual campaign, which will run for six weeks, follows a more than 40-percent increase in sexual harassment claims at the commission over the last two years.
“We created this public outreach campaign to remind New Yorkers that the commission is a venue where New Yorkers can report sexual harassment, get justice, and hold violators accountable,” said Chairwoman and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn Malalis. “At the commission, we understand that many victims may hesitate to report sexual harassment given the imbalance of power in the workplace. Many victims fear retaliation, damaging their careers, or worse, that they won’t be believed. We want to assure New Yorkers that the commission takes every claim of sexual harassment seriously and investigates claims to get justice for victims. We encourage victims to come forward and report sexual harassment to the commission so we can help put an end to it. No one should suffer sexual or gender-based harassment in the workplace, not now, not ever.”
The ads highlight three common phrases perpetrators may use to excuse sexual harassment in the workplace, including “It’s just a joke,” “It’s just a hug,” and “It’s just flirting,” and exposes these unwanted actions for what they are — sexual harassment. Since reports of sexual harassment are often dismissed or minimized in the workplace, the ads remind New Yorkers that the commission recognizes these actions as sexual harassment and encourages them to report such incidents by calling (718) 722-3131.
Victims of sexual harassment in the city may file claims at the commission even when they are bound by arbitration agreements that prevent them from filing cases in court. Independent contractors, interns, and volunteers, whether paid or unpaid, are also protected under the City Human Rights Law, the commission noted.
The campaign ads are scheduled to appear in English and Spanish in nearly 5,000 placements citywide over the next six weeks, including on subway cars and stations, bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks, and in nail salons, barber shops, and bars. The ads will also appear in 24 ethnic and community newspapers in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, and Haitian Creole, including in El Diario, World Journal, Carib News, Allewaa Al-Arabi, Amsterdam News, Weekly Bangalee, and Gay City News, among others. Digital campaign ads will run on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, as well as on several online publications, including New York Magazine, Jezebel, and Bklyner.
Additionally, the commission has pledged to launch a series of short films on Facebook, Taxi TV, and NYC TV later this month as part of the campaign.
“This ad campaign makes it clear that our City cannot and will not tolerate sexual harassment of any form, and that victims have a reliable, safe way to seek the help and justice they deserve,” said Public Advocate Tish James.