Pelavin: “This decision is the second within a week … that has solidified strong legal protections for those who are victims of sexual harassment.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2008 – In response to today’s Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, Mark Pelavin, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision today in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville reaffirms our nation’s commitment to protecting victims of workplace sexual harassment. This decision is the second within a week (following Along Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee) that has solidified strong legal protections for those who are victims of sexual harassment.
The Crawford decision, which prohibits the firing of individuals who provide evidence in an internal sexual harassment investigation, but do not themselves initiate a sexual harassment complaint, acknowledges that sexual harassment remains an insidious and persistent problem in the workplace. It ensures that employees will not risk their jobs if they divulge potentially incriminating evidence concerning a colleague who is being investigated for sexually inappropriate behavior.
The Union for Reform Judaism was proud to join an amicus brief in this case coordinated by the National Women’s Law Center. The brief highlighted the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and its detrimental effect on women’s abilities to participate fully in the workplace. It also argued, and the Court agreed, that the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protect from dismissal workers who participate in internal sexual-harassment cases. We are pleased that this standard has been upheld and that the Court has again made clear that sexual harassment has no place in the American workforce.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.