National Nurses Association

For Immediate Release                                               January 3, 2019

Contact: Martha Wallner


National Nurses Statement on Sexual Harassment,

Pay Equity, and the 2020 Presidential Campaign


In the wake of reports of allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination by several women associated with Sen. Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, National Nurses United (NNU) today called on all campaigns to establish strong, mandatory rules to protect staffers and volunteers from all forms of sexual harassment, and to ensure pay equity for all paid campaign staff.


“As an organization of nurses, who are predominantly women, we are acutely aware of the pervasive, appalling national problem of sexual harassment,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN.  


“Sexual harassment continues to be a widespread concern that touches every corner of our society, and every workplace, including political campaigns, that have short and long-term consequences for those harmed by the harassment, as we should all have recognized by now,” said Castillo.


“It is especially important that candidates for our highest office set a standard for ensuring that sexual harassment is completely unacceptable, is fully and properly investigated, and that protects the safety and health of those harmed by it.”


“Sexual harassment can never be treated as business as usual or swept under the rug. Apologies alone are not enough. Strong mechanisms must be put in place to prevent harassment, that include full accountability for those who engage in such reprehensible behavior and by those with oversight responsibility,” Castillo said.  


"NNU does not believe the concerns about sexual harassment are confined to any one candidate, exactly why uniform guidelines are essential,” Castillo added.


Castillo said all campaigns should also guarantee pay equity for women staffers in campaigns, again setting a model for the nation in redress for longtime societal pay disparity.


“How can we expect private employers to end pay disparities if they see Presidential candidates, as well as other elected leaders in Washington and state capitols engaged in pay discrimination,” Castillo said.