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Opinion: I reported my harassment in the California Legislature. Then state investigators went after me

Original post made on Apr 26, 2022

A woman filed a workplace discrimination complaint that alleged harassment while working for Assembly member Marc Berman's office.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 25, 2022, 2:14 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Danna Breen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Apr 26, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Danna Breen is a registered user.

I am so sorry this happened to you and that you didn’t get the support from Bermans office. However it doesn’t surprise me. I am proud that you are taking a strong stance. Berman needs to go for a lot of reasons.


Posted by rtjohnson
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Apr 26, 2022 at 1:48 pm

rtjohnson is a registered user.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the bravery of women like Ruth Ferguson! Her articulate, thoughtful piece should be an eye-opener for all of us.

I'm saddened by the apparent "greenwashing" by the legislature in passing a much heralded legislative reform that seems to be terribly flawed. The lack of accountability for our elected officials and their staff is a serious problem. And while I think quite highly of Assemblyman Berman (my representative), I'm struck by how his response at the end of the article is either naive or dishonest. The fact that the WCU report couldn't be shared with the complainant due to "attorney-client privilege" begs the question -- who's the client? If it is the legislature or leadership, then Assemblyman Berman's statement that it is an "independent investigatory authority" is simply not true. If it was prepared by counsel for the WCU, then WCU (as a true independent authority) has the ability to waive the privilege and share the report (or at least a redacted version of the report) with the complainant.

Ultimately, every member of the California electorate should be outraged by this ominous tale. (After all, we all have sisters, daughters or mothers who have suffered too much of the type of behavior that Ms. Ferguson suffered.) Perhaps we should have a referendum that requires the legislature to abide by the strictest version of oversight, accountability, and enforcement that they adopt for others.

At the end of the day, without such accountability, can we really expect this behavior to change?

R. Todd Johnson


Posted by susannahID
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Apr 26, 2022 at 2:46 pm

susannahID is a registered user.

Ms. Ferguson wrote a valuable and detailed article about this problem. Shame on Marc Berman .


Posted by West Menlo Mom
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Apr 26, 2022 at 3:23 pm

West Menlo Mom is a registered user.

Thank you for sharing your story - your efforts will help others. It's amazing that things like this can still happen in our supposedly enlightened state.


Posted by What News!
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 26, 2022 at 5:17 pm

What News! is a registered user.

I am so very sorry to find that a structure set up to make outing abusers possible has been stopped by politicals' cya actions. Berman should be turned out at the first opportunity.


Posted by Liesel
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 28, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Liesel is a registered user.

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to Ms. Ferguson. This just adds one more reason to the long list of reasons for why Berman needs to go. He's not fit for purpose.


Posted by tmain
a resident of Woodside High School
on May 2, 2022 at 11:19 pm

tmain is a registered user.

First, I have to commend you for stepping forward to share your experience, I am sure it was not easy to do so. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.


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