Women’s Group Applauds Introduction of BE HEARD Legislation, Urges Congress to Pass the Bill
WASHINGTON, DC — Earlier today, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Katherine Clark introduced the Be HEARD in the Workplace Act, which aims to help businesses prevent workplace harassment and ensure that all working people in the United States are protected from workplace harassment.
Specifically, the bill expands federal anti-harassment protections to all working people, eliminates the tipped minimum wage that exacerbates harassment in service industries, increases funding for research into the economic impact of workplace harassment, establishes independent reporting on the prevalence of workplace harassment, and mandates an end to mandatory arbitration and overly broad non-disclosure agreements, which prevent people from coming forward and holding perpetrators and businesses accountable.
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a leading national women’s group, applauded the introduction of the legislation, explaining:
“Over the last year and a half, millions of people have said #MeToo, shedding a light on the epidemic of sexual harassment in American workplaces, but our laws have lagged behind this cultural reckoning. BE HEARD is bold, comprehensive legislation responding to the needs of all working people, particularly those most vulnerable to sexual harassment–service industry workers, farm workers, and domestic workers, the majority of whom are women of color, Indigenous women, and immigrants.
“We now have the opportunity to go beyond exposing the problem of harassment and sexual violence to cement lasting policy change that will actually make people safer. We applaud Senator Murray and Representative Clark for introducing this bill and urge Congress to move swiftly to enact it into law.”