Several women’s rights groups delivered signatures earlier this month to the House of Representatives on a petition demanding that elected officials pass legislation preventing harassment and discrimination among tipped employees, freelancers and other economically and legally vulnerable women workers.
Sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL.) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act would “extend legal protections against sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination to workers like independent contractors, remove preexisting barriers to statutes of limitations and fund additional efforts to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination.”
Rowena Chui, Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant—and one of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct—joined Rep. Clark to advocate for the bill. So did representatives from feminist groups like UltraViolet, National Women’s Law Center, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Women Employed, National Domestic Workers Alliance, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, TIME’S UP and ROC United.
The BE HEARD Act is the first federal legislative proposal to acknowledge workplace harassment amidst the #MeToo movement.