Kamala Harris Intro Bill to EMPOWER Victims of Workplace Harassment
Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Tuesday introduced the Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace harassment through Education and Reporting Act (EMPOWER) to address the systemic issue of workplace harassment. While workplace harassment has impacted individuals across all industries and workplaces, recent accusations affect a disproportionate number of women in low-wage jobs and women of color. The Senators say this legislation will empower victims of harassment and put companies on notice that they can no longer protect harassers. Specifically, the EMPOWER Act will require public companies to disclose the number of workplace harassment settlements in their annual SEC filings, and prohibit non-disclosure agreements that employers require individuals to sign as a condition to receiving a job. The bill also establishes a confidential tip-line to receive reports about harassment to allow EEOC to investigate employers that continue to allow for systemic harassment. “Sexual harassment and misconduct must not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere,” said Harris. “The culture of fear and silence created by perpetrators of sexual harassment in the workplace has existed for far too long and must come to an end. It’s time to address the gaps in our laws that allow this misconduct to go unpunished and keep it in the shadows.” More here.