Whether an employee is just starting or has been with a company for years or even decades, he or she believes that they are working in a safe environment. Although some workplaces come with risks, dangers and hazards, employees have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment. Despite this, some employees in Minnesota and elsewhere are faced with uncomfortable situation and conduct. Thus, it is important for employees who believe they are being subjected to sexual harassment to fully understand their situation and what options they might have.
Workplace sexual harassment legislation
Based on recent reports, the Senate just passed legislation that would address sexual harassment in the workplace. After years of deliberation, it is now on the desk of the President, awaiting his signature for approval. Commentators of this legislations state that it will help fix a broken system, allow employees to be heard differently and that it was long overdue to occur.
Impacts on the workplace
The enactment of this law, which is named the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, would ban forced arbitration in matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct. Additionally, it would allow victims in the matter the option to bring the dispute to federal, state or tribal court. Once the Act is signed into law, this would void any forced arbitration clauses in current employment contracts as it pertains to sexual assaults or sexual harassment. As such, companies would be prohibited from including those clauses in future contracts.
The law continually evolves, and while some changes may take time, the reality is that these changes can make a huge impact. Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace is an emotional and challenging experience, which is why it is imperative that employees gain information about their rights and options. Taking action could help address the situation and provide remedies for the damages suffered.