CPUSA Sexual Harassment Policy

BY:Communist Party USA| February 25, 2020


Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment, along with all sexist and misogynist ideas and practices, serves the ruling class by driving a wedge between men and women workers, disrupting the chances for working-class unity, and reinforcing the domination of the ruling class.  Sexual harassment creates an environment of fear, intimidation, and humiliation, and is hostile to the target’s full participation in our movement.  Most often the target is women.  In the Communist Party USA, sexual harassment is not an acceptable behavior on the part of any comrade.  Leadership is held to an especially high standard and is expected to set an example of inclusion and respect for the entire Party.

Sexual harassment includes:

  1. persistent or abusive unwanted sexual attention
  2. promises of benefits in exchange for sexual compliance
  3. threats of reprisals for refusing to comply with sexual advances
  4. unwanted behaviors including assault, physical abuse (touching, cornering), verbal abuse (lewd comments, jokes, and sexual insults)

These constitute sexual harassment whether they occur in face-to-face interactions, telecommunications, or via social media.  Sexual harassment can involve conduct by a person of any gender toward a person of the same or another gender.

Comrades who have adopted ruling-class forms of male supremacist domination sometimes do not recognize their own complicity in misogynist ideas and practices.  All comrades should be encouraged to work to promote a conscious working-class culture opposed to sexism and misogyny within our spheres of influence in a way that orients all toward behaviors consistent with the struggle for full equality.

Comrades who call out sexism and incidents of sexual harassment in any form must be protected against intimidation, pressure, and retaliation for doing so.  Fighting for the dignity and full social, political, and economic equality for women is the obligation of all Party members, especially men who are expected to engage in struggle with other men toward a class-conscious winning approach.

Education and discussion may be enough to enable comrades to overcome negative ideas and practices.

Comrades should assist each other in informal discussions to understand sexual harassment and to avoid creating hostile environments for others in the movement.

If education and discussion are not sufficient, or if the offense is especially glaring or damaging, action should be taken including informing the district leadership (where there is such) and the designated representative of the National Board.  Anyone found repeatedly to be engaged in offensive acts can be removed from positions of leadership and even membership within the Party.  If comrades have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, they should consult with their district leadership and the designated representative of the National Board for guidance on how to proceed.

Adopted by the National Committee, Communist Party USA, April 2018



    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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