Rosenthal Intros Sexual Harassment And Gender Discrimination Bill In NYC’s Hospitals

Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women & Gender Equity, introduced legislation today which would establish a Gender Equity Advisory Board for New York City’s hospitals.

Council Member Rosenthal’s legislation seeks to address ongoing and pervasive gender-based discrimination, harassment and assault experienced by staff, students, and faculty in local healthcare institutions. Women are disproportionately impacted but the issue affects people of all gender identities.


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“Their mistreatment in the workplace endangers not only their personal well-being, but also the safety and outcomes of the patients they serve.”

“Women make up close to 80% of the healthcare workforce,” said Council Member Rosenthal. “Their mistreatment in the workplace endangers not only their personal well-being but also the safety and outcomes of the patients they serve.”

The Advisory Board created by Council Member Rosenthal’s bill will advise the Mayor and City Council on actions needed to maintain safe workplaces for the city’s thousands of women healthcare workers.

“My bill brings healthcare professionals and students from diverse disciplines and across the city together, to shine an ongoing spotlight on gender discrimination and overall working conditions for women on the healthcare frontlines,” said Council Member Rosenthal.

As many as 70% of women physicians have reported sexual harassment, according to national studies. Similarly, a 2018 report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that up to half of women medical students report some form of sexual harassment – and the number is even higher for minority students.

As many as 70% of women physicians have reported sexual harassment, according to national studies. Similarly, a 2018 report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that up to half of women medical students report some form of sexual harassment – and the number is even higher for minority students.

The safety of women healthcare workers has also been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Almost three-quarters of the 9,282 U.S. healthcare workers diagnosed with COVID-19 as of April 2020 (the most recent date with reliable gender data), are women.

The safety of women healthcare workers has also been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Almost three-quarters of the 9,282 U.S. healthcare workers diagnosed with COVID-19 as of April 2020 (the most recent date with reliable gender data), are women.

Following the filing of the case, almost 1,000 Mount Sinai physicians, staff, trainees, and alumni signed letters to the Mount Sinai Board of Trustees requesting concrete steps to investigate and address discrimination and bullying at the institution.

The issue of gender harassment and abuse was recently brought forward by eight current and former employees of Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) who, in April 2019, filed a federal lawsuit against MSHS and four of its male employees for sex, age and race discrimination. Following the filing of the case, almost 1,000 Mount Sinai physicians, staff, trainees, and alumni signed letters to the Mount Sinai Board of Trustees requesting concrete steps to investigate and address discrimination and bullying at the institution.

Since filing the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have been contacted by scores of women from across Mount Sinai and other NYC healthcare institutions reporting similar experiences of gender-based mistreatment and abuse in their workplaces. In March 2020, Council Member Rosenthal joined a walk-out in solidarity with Mt. Sinai residents and interns as they called for justice.

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