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What is the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act?

May 12, 2022
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Ending Harassment in the Workplace by Improving Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination (BE HEARD) Act is the first and only federal legislation of its kind that has the potential to amend faulty laws regarding workplace harassment and abuse. The act strives to ensure that every US citizen is protected from harassment on their job, irrespective of where they work. The fight for an equitable, holistic, and actionable workplace law that addresses the power disparities and exploitative working conditions has persisted for a long time. Courageous women, including indigenous women, immigrant women, and women of color, who have long endured abuse and violence at work have led the movements against workplace harassment, assault, and discrimination. Thus, BE HEARD in the Workplace Act is a ripe opportunity for all the stakeholders to materialize a meaningful and long overdue legislative change.

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE BE HEARD IN THE WORKPLACE ACT

  • For the first time in the history of the United States, there has been a demand to expand anti-harassment and civil rights protection to 'all' working people, including those working at small businesses, independent contractors, unpaid interns, volunteers, trainees, etc.
  • The act demands that all LGBTQ+ workers are protected against harassment and discrimination.
  • The BE HEARD in the Workplace Act requires employees to take vehement steps to prevent harassment at the workplace.
  • The act also ensures that employees cannot prevent a victim of harassment from talking about their experience by limiting the use of non-disclosure agreements and arbitration.
  • It also strives to make even one-time groping by a co-worker a severe offense in a court of law.
  • The act also ensures that people who experience sexual harassment at the workplace can access the same financial remedies as those who experience racial discrimination.
  • Another very crucial implication of the act is that it strives to ensure that people, who get tips, like servers, are paid at least the minimum wage like other workers, so that tipped employees do not have to put up with the harassment from customers as the price of making a decent living.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE BE HEARD IN THE WORKPLACE ACT

To begin with, the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act will benefit all people of the USA and all industries and companies. The act has long-term affirmative implications, which deserve widespread articulation. Anti-discrimination laws in the United States are expanded and strengthened, barriers to justice are eliminated, and businesses are held accountable if they fail to provide harassment-free workplaces. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace for businesses that employ 15 or more people. Thus, people who work alone or in small workspaces remain unprotected. But, the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act aims to bridge the gap by bringing everyone under the ambit of anti-discriminatory employment laws. The proposed also provides survivors of sexual harassment a fairer chance in court, veritably limits secrecy, and promotes transparency.

In conclusion, the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act is revolutionary legislation that was long overdue, and now is the time to make it happen.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/self-made-nase-blog/self-made/2022/05/12/what-is-the-be-heard-in-the-workplace-act