Past Success

Man and woman working together in metal workshop

Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence — NYC Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Workplace Policy

Having strong workplace policies that promote safety and support of people impacted by gender-based violence and harassment are essential components of a prevention and response program. In 2022, FUTURES partnered with the NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to develop the NYC Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Workplace Policy (2022), which established a comprehensive, trauma-informed policy making New York City the first municipality in the state to adopt a Workplace Policy that includes all forms of domestic and gender-based violence.

Worker-Led Models

With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, FUTURES established two Learning Labs in 2016 focused on improving the safety and economic security of janitorial workers and hotel room cleaners. In collaboration with unions, anti-violence advocates, worker rights advocates, as well as other stakeholders, FUTURES created industry-specific responses to sexual harassment and violence and its impact on workers and the workplace.

FUTURES partnered with Worksafe, LOHP, Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (now ValorUS), and other labor and victims’ services organizations—the Ya Basta! Coalition—to advance the workplace safety for workers vulnerable to experiencing sexual violence and harassment in the janitorial industry. The Ya Basta! Coalition along with the Service Employees International Union United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), mobilized promotora janitors to advocate for and secure passage of AB 1978 (Gonzalez): Property Service Workers Protection Act. The success of the promotora’s worker-led peer education model to address workplace sexual harassment was documented in the Sweeping Change: Building Survivor and Worker Leadership to Confront Sexual Harassment in the Janitorial Industry.

FUTURES also collaborated with union leaders from UNITE HERE! Local 23 to develop and implement an education and leadership development program for union leaders in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, and Atlanta, Georgia. The curriculum: LEARN • LEAD • ORGANIZE • SUPPORT, sought to build power among workers to combat high rates of gender-based violence and harassment within the hospitality industry.

Low Wage, High Risk Pilot Site

In 2014, FUTURES launched Low Wage, High Risk, a pilot site project to address the vulnerability of low-wage workers to gender-based violence and exploitation. The project focuses primarily on the retail, food service, hotel, homecare, and agricultural sectors—where workers often earn less than the national average wage and endure unsafe and exploitative working conditions. Workers often face barriers—such as uncertain immigration status, skill level, education, and language ability—that may prevent them from reporting abuses and bringing people who cause harm to justice.

FUTURES worked collaboratively with worker and community associations, employers, and leading anti-violence advocates to raise awareness about the effects of gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace, and to develop and promote replicable promising practices that prevent and respond to domestic and sexual violence and stalking. At each site, FUTURES and its partners enhanced ongoing efforts by developing a workplace policy; engaging, relevant trainings for employees; and educational materials to prevent and respond to violence. Low Wage, High Risk also sought to strengthen collaboration across sectors and movements to ensure workers’ safety and economic security.