USC: Believe Survivors, #CancelTerranea
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Terranea is a luxury five-star resort that overlooks the California coast. It plays host to weddings, corporate conferences, lavish events, golfers and spa-goers from around the world.
Terranea is also the place where I was sexually assaulted.
And I’m not the only one — eight more women who are or were employed at Terranea have come forward with allegations of harassment and misconduct. But despite our stories, Terranea Resort has refused to accept responsibility. Someone must take action. It’s time for all companies to cut ties and #CancelTerranea. The University of Southern California (USC) Medical Center holds continuing education programs at Terranea, sometimes multiple times a year. High-level administrators and athletes have also had multiple retreats at the resort.
Join me in asking USC to commit immediately to cutting ties with Terranea Resort until our concerns are fully addressed and it is a place where women can work in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
I worked as a dishwasher through a staffing agency at Terranea Resort where I was repeatedly harassed by my agency supervisor in 2015. He asked me to be his lover and told me that I could not talk to other men at work. He even tried to kiss me in a storage room. When I refused his advances he cut my hours, leaving me without enough income to support my family. I complained to Terranea management about what happened to me. Not long after, I was fired.
After speaking publicly about my story, I was proud to be recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Silence Breakers,” who were named the 2017 “Person of the Year.” And after I spoke out, eight other women came forward with their own stories of working at Terranea.
Terranea housekeepers have allegedly had guests expose themselves when they went to clean their rooms – including an instance in which male managers repeatedly joked about the woman’s experience after she reported it. Other women have allegedly received unwanted sexual attention from supervisors or coworkers. One woman, Jasmin Sanchez, alleged in a recently filed lawsuit that she received explicit messages from and was assaulted by a then-Terranea security supervisor in 2016—in fact, the same supervisor who interviewed me after I reported my harassment and assault.
But Terranea continues to deny these claims or point fingers, like it did when Terranea’s president said in May that my claims had “nothing to do with the Terranea” because I was employed through a staffing agency, even though I worked every day at the resort. It also falsely claimed that Terranea was somehow “cleared” when I reached a settlement with the agency which ended the lawsuit.
When I broke my silence and the world saw the type of harassment that has gone on at the Terranea Resort, I hoped things would change. Now it breaks my heart to see more women come forward and watch Terranea Resort still fail to accept responsibility and address our concerns.
To add insult to injury, Terranea has opposed efforts by Ranchos Palos Verdes voters to pass an ordinance that would require area hotels to give housekeepers panic buttons so that they can call for immediate help if they feel threatened by a guest. Terranea’s lawyers demanded that the City of Palos Verdes reject the voters’ petition as “legally defective.”
Enough is enough! Sign to tell the University of Southern California (USC) that Terranea Resort doesn’t deserve its business until Terranea has made its workplace one where all women feel safe and respected.
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