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sexual harassment

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Robert Lutz began his automotive career in 1963. He rose to the ranks of top-tier executives at GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Opel.

He's someone who's seen a lot of change in the auto industry through the decades.

During a recent interview, Stateside host Cynthia Canty asked Lutz for his thoughts on the recent floodgate of stories of powerful men being held accountable for actions and behaviors committed against women in the workplace — sexual assault, harassment, and bullying. Is American business truly having a watershed moment?

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) testifies at a hearing in 2009.
Rep. John Conyers office / Flickr

Representative John Conyers is leaving Congress.

Conyers, who has been battling sexual harassment allegations by former female staffers, said he is retiring. However, NPR’s Don Gonyea has confirmed with Conyers' attorney that he is leaving office effective today, making it a resignation.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Due process.

That was the rallying cry of U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ supporters, as they gathered at Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Baptist Church to mount a full-throated defense of the 88-year-old congressman and civil rights icon Monday.

Rep. Conyers
John Conyers Jr. for Congress / www.johnconyers.com/

Congressman John Conyers will make an announcement about his future “in coming days,” his attorney announced Friday.

The 88-year-old Detroit Democrat remained hospitalized for a second day for “stress-related” illness. He faces several sexual harassment allegations from former female staffers, and pressure to resign from fellow Democrats.

Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed says that in addition to his health, a main concern is likely to be whether the Congressman can still “serve effectively.”

Rep. John Conyers
Matthew Bradley / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Congressman John Conyers is in a Detroit hospital today.

A spokesman says the 88-year-old is under "tremendous stress" from the accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him.

Earlier today, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Congressman Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American Democrat in Congress, all called on Conyers to resign.

Also calling for Conyers' resignation are Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, Congressman Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, and Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township.

WWW.CONYERS.HOUSE.GOV

He denies the accusations that he has harassed women through the years. Yet, Democratic Congressman John Conyers said Sunday he is stepping down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

To put this move into context, Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined Stateside Monday.

John Conyers file photo.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Last week, Detroit Congressman John Conyers became one more powerful man caught in a sexual harassment scandal. It was revealed he’d reached a settlement with a former employee a few years ago. The woman was paid more than $27,000, evidently with taxpayer funds.

Congressman John Conyers
www.conyers.house.gov

Michigan Rep. John Conyers says he is stepping aside as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional investigation into allegations he sexually harassed female staff members.

In a statement Sunday, the 88-year-old Conyers says he denies the allegations and would like to keep his leadership role on the panel. But he says he "cannot in good conscience" allow the charges to be an undue distraction to his House colleagues while the investigation is continuing.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) testifies at a hearing in 2009.
Rep. John Conyers office / Flickr

U.S. Congressman John Conyers maintains his innocence against sexual harassment accusations and says he will not resign. That’s according to a statement Conyers released via his new lawyer late Wednesday.

Conyers has previously acknowledged a $27,000 legal settlement with a former staffer. He says the settlement was a way to avoid a lengthy, expensive lawsuit.

The woman alleged Conyers fired her because she rejected his sexual advances.

Congressman John Conyers
www.conyers.house.gov

Update 5:12 p.m.: The leaders of the House Ethics Committee say the panel has begun an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Michigan Rep. John Conyers. A statement from Reps. Susan Brooks and Ted Deutch says the committee is aware of public allegations that Conyers may have engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes.

Original post: 

Another United States legislator has been accused of sexual harassment.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence's website

Michigan Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s Chief of Staff, Dwayne Marshall resigned today following multiple sexual harassment allegations.

Congresswoman Lawrence says her office will “move forward with an investigation focused on the current and future climate of our workplace.”

congresswoman brenda lawrence talking
brendalawrence.com

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, a Democrat from Michigan’s 14th district, says she would have “promptly investigated” any complaints of sexual harassment in her office – but she never received any.

Actor Rose McGowan in 2008.
wikimedia commons

DETROIT - Rose McGowan is scheduled to make her first public remarks since accusing film producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.

McGowan is slated to deliver the opening remarks at The Women's Convention in Detroit on Friday, and will participate in another panel on sexual abuse in schools.

You can watch a live feed of the convention below:

Promoting consent
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If you logged on to social media at some point this week, you likely saw dozens of posts about #MeToo. The hashtag took off after an actress posed the question: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Wendy Sellers believes education is the best way to prevent sexual harassment and assault. 

screen grab Ford Motor Company

For the second time in 20 years, Ford Motor Company has settled an investigation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over complaints of sexual and racial harassment at its Chicago Stamping and Chicago Assembly plants.

The EEOC says Ford also retaliated against workers who reported the harassment.

Ford has agreed to pay up to $10.1 million to victims, as well as institute training for workers.

two women on laptops
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The fallout from the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News continues as co-president Bill Shine is the latest to leave the network.

Although Shine has not himself been accused of harassment, a growing number of women at Fox News claim he was quite aware of the inappropriate behavior against them and did nothing to address their concerns.

This dismissive attitude by a top executive doesn't surprise Lilia Cortina. She's a professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan. She has found that even though more and more workplaces have ways to report sexual harassment, women don't use them.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Ten women have sued Berrien County and two sheriff’s deputies and two sergeants who worked in the county jail.

The women say they were coerced into having sex while they were inmates in the southwest Michigan jail.

The lawsuit filed this month in federal court alleges three of the individual defendants repeatedly requested sexual favors in exchange for money and other benefits between 2008 and 2015.  The complaint says due to the influence of their positions, the three sheriff department personnel were able to coerce or force the plaintiffs to submit to their demands.

Alton / Creative Commons

Bills heading to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk would make it a misdemeanor, with possible jail time, for posting sexually explicit photos or videos of someone in order to threaten or intimidate them.

“I’ve had numerous complaints from mothers that their daughters had to leave high school because an ex-boyfriend put their nude image all over the high school,” says Republican State Sen. Rick Jones, one of the bill’s sponsors.

The Capital Dome in Lansing, Michigan.
Joe Dearman / Flickr

Unpaid interns in Michigan are not protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Michigan State University student Matt Marks wants to change that. He's a senior in the university's James Madison College, and the head of a group called Michigan Equal Protections for Interns Coalition, or Mi-EPIC. 

He joined us on Stateside to talk about his inspiration for getting involved, and the stories of the interns behind the movement. 

Listen to the full interview above.