Women janitor mopping floor interior of new building blur image use for background

Before the #MeToo movement hit the national headlines, Oregon passed legislation to protect janitorial workers, according to an article on the News Channel 21 website. Janitorial contractors recently started joining a registry that ensures they're in compliance with workplace harassment laws.

Sexual harassment and even assault can be common in the janitorial industry and women in this industry often aren't able to speak up because of non-disclosure agreements from settlements or threats from their managers, according to Oregon State Rep. Andrea Salinas.

Many people who work in the janitorial industry are undocumented, making it harder for them to come forward and report abuses, Salinas said.

Some contractors have complained about the law, saying it is too onerous on their businesses, according to the article.

Oregon is not the first state to pass legislation to try to protect janitorial workers. A number of states have passed similar laws, sometimes with less than encouraging results. For example, California and Connecticut have made sexual harassment training mandatory for supervisors in companies with more than 50 employees. In Maine,  which in 1991 became the first state to require training, the threshold is 15 or more workers.
In 2017, California began requiring all janitorial services firms to provide training because it’s a job where men often supervise women working in empty buildings after regular business hours. New York is considering mandatory training for companies that employ maids.
Maine only began focusing on enforcement n 2016, according to Amy Sneirson, executive director of the Maine Human Rights Commission.
Read the full article.