CD-39 Candidate Thorburn Releases Plan to Combat Sexual Harrassment


The Harassment Hotline Act Would Mandate Creation of an Independent Entity Where Whistleblowers Can Anonymously Report Abuse

ORANGE COUNTY, CA- In light of numerous revelations about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace that questioned the efficacy of current reporting procedures for whistleblowers across various industries, today former classroom teacher, workers’ rights leader and Democratic businessman Andy Thorburn released a policy memorandum outlining his plan to protect whistleblowers in Congress.

Thorburn is a candidate for California’s 39th Congressional District. In a statement released following the announcement, Thorburn reflected: “The recent revelations about sexual predators operating in the workplace for years with impunity are shocking and heartbreaking. Much of the reason for the lack of accountability for these abusers are the threats and intimidation that frequently befall whistleblowers. We must create a culture where there is zero-tolerance towards sexual harassment of any kind or any other type of company wrongdoing. As someone who has seen firsthand how similar policies are effective in the United Kingdom, I believe my plan would go a long way toward combatting this fear of retaliation from whistleblowers.”

The Harassment Hotline Act would:

  • Mandate that any company or corporation with 50 or more employees have an independent whistleblower hotline outside of the company for employees so they can call anonymously about financial misbehavior, sexual harassment, or other company wrongdoing.
  • An outside and independent entity would then investigate the misconduct, giving employees a safe and anonymous option for reporting company wrongdoing outside of HR departments, which frequently have conflicts of interest.
  • The existence of the hotline, its anonymity and the fact that it run by an outside 3rd party firm must be widely circulated to the employees of the organization on a regular basis.

Andy has seen the impact of similar laws firsthand, as his company, Global Benefits Group, is a public company in the UK and had to revise their whistleblower procedure in order to go public.  He’s seen how effective these types of independent mechanisms can be for whistleblowers, and wants to apply it nationwide in the US. You can check out the full policy memo here:

Weeks ago Thorburn’s campaign for California’s 39th Congressional District announced that it reported a whopping $2,142,000 for its war chest for the September 30, 2017 deadline. The Democrat got into the race August 1, 2017 and began fundraising in September, thus the sum was raised even after he had a late start to the third quarterly fundraising period. Thorburn maintains nearly $2 million cash on hand.  Thorburn’s impressive figure stems from over 400 individual contributions, with a median contribution of $15, as well as a personal donation he made to the campaign.


Thorburn, who was recently endorsed by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36 and the United Steelworkers of Los Angeles and Orange Counties,  has enlisted the following team of campaign operatives:

  • Jacobson & Zilber Strategies, Media Strategists and Chief Consultants
  • Mellman Group, Opinion Research and Pollsters
  • Rapid Returns Digital, Online Fundraising Strategists
  • Nancy Leeds, Campaign Manager
  • Brendan Wiles, Deputy Campaign Manager
  • Jake Wagman, Research Consultant

Andy Thorburn is a Democrat, a former classroom teacher, an advocate for working people, a businessman, and a nonprofit founder. He has worked as an educator, union organizer, and entrepreneur, and at each phase in his life, he has prioritized the principle that any organization – a country or a company – gets the best results if it treats its people fairly, with dignity, and holds itself to a standard of excellence.

Thorburn was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in New Jersey along with his two brothers.

After college, Thorburn started his career in public service as a high school teacher in Newark, New Jersey. His leadership abilities were recognized almost immediately, and he was elected to a senior position in the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Also while teaching, Thorburnattended graduate school at Jersey City University.  Everything changed in Thorburn’s life in 1970, when he and other classroom teachers led a strike for better wages, better benefits, and better working conditions. Andy was jailed for the strike, along with numerous other teachers, but won the battle for livable wages, fair treatment for workers, and smaller classroom sizes.  After leaving the classroom, Thorburn founded a small business that specialized in selling insurance to working families, particularly classroom teachers. This launched a truly remarkable career in business and philanthropy that has led to him creating hundreds of jobs, and providing retirement security to countless Americans at home and abroad.

Today Thorburn leads the international company Global Benefits Group and he’s also the founder of the Global Benefits Group Foundation – a nonprofit that provides innovative new methods of financing, like microloans, to those who need them the most.   Thorburn has been married to his wife Karen, for 36 years, and they have two children together, both of which they adopted as infants. Andy and Karen live in Orange County, where they have lived for the past 18 years. For more information please visit: