On April 9, 2019, Representative Kathrine Clark (D-MA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace Act (BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, HR 2148/S 1082). The measure would strengthen and expand the reach of our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, remove barriers that prevent individuals from accessing justice, and help employers create harassment-free workplaces — while also holding them accountable when they fall short. Among many provisions, the BE HEARD Act would:
- invest in research about the economic impact of workplace harassment and require regular reporting on the prevalence of workplace harassment;
- require the dissemination of information and training about what constitutes harassment and workers’ rights if they are harassed;
- and mandatory arbitration and limit the use of non-disclosure agreements, which prevent workers from coming forward and holding perpetrators and businesses accountable; and
- address not only sexual or sex-based harassment, but also harassment based on other protected characteristics, including race, color, national origin, disability, age, and genetic information.
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