A sex worker has won a six-figure payout as part of a settlement after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a business owner in New Zealand.
The payment is to ‘compensate her for both emotional harm and lost earnings’, according to the country’s human rights commission. The settlement announced today December 14, has been hailed as a milestone for sex workers.
The case serves as an important reminder that all workers, regardless of the type of work they do, have the right to freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, said Michael Timmins, director for Human Rights Proceedings.
‘It’s great to see a settlement of this type has been awarded in the context of sex work to a sex worker,’ Dame Catherine Healy, national coordinator of the New Zealand Sex Workers, told the BBC. ‘It takes courage to stand up in the work, any workplace,’ she added, describing the case as a ‘wake up call’ for businesses.
According to Mail Online, the Prostitution Reform Act in New Zealand decriminalised prostitution in 2003 and created a framework to safeguard the human rights of sex workers and to promote their welfare. It also allows brothels to operate as a legitimate business and granted sex workers full employment rights.