Urge your federal legislators to support workers' rights bills
Workers deserve more rights
We live in a culture where corporations simply have too much power. Currently, they can:
- Ask us to sign away our rights
- Push us out of our jobs for any reason or no reason
- Work while grieving a loved one
- Check our credit in the hiring process
- Fail to conduct investigations for reports of sexual harassment
- Discriminate against those suffering from domestic violence
- Retaliate against injured workers
- Make it difficult for us to leave toxic workplaces when our healthcare is tied to our jobs
- Silence us when we've been abused
- Pay some workers below minimum wage
- Not grant sufficient sick leave amid COVID-19
- Conduct abusive scheduling practices
- Avoid accountability for discrimination through wages and promotions
- Steal wages
- Block public employees from striking
- Ask about our desired salary ranges, which has a discriminatory impact
- Verbally abuse and sabotage workers with zero accountability
We can change this toxic culture for workers through by passing these bills into law:
BE HEARD Act (Bringing An End To Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace)
Current law doesn’t do enough to stop discrimination, particularly for the most vulnerable workers. The BE HEARD Act strengthens and broadens discrimination laws, removes barriers for targets, and helps employers create incentives and accountability for safe workplaces:
- It extends protections to all. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn’t address workers in small businesses. This law would cover all employees regardless of business size plus independent contractors, volunteers, interns, fellows, and trainees — and add LGBTQ workers as a protected class.
- It gives targets a fair chance in court. Case law requires that harassment be “severe or pervasive” to win in court, often unattainable and that groping may not even fall under. The bill outlines what conduct is and is not unlawful to give guidance to the courts who’ve historically excused abusive conduct, blocking justice, and preventing others from speaking up.
- It promotes transparency. Acts of discrimination are most often kept private, furthered with agreements that mandate arbitration rather than lawsuits upon starting jobs. The bill would ban mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure agreements upon accepting a job.
- It restores protections for workers harassed by supervisors. The bill would make holding employers liable for supervisor harassment easier.
- It assists employers in creating harassment-free workplaces. The bill authorizes research and data collection and gives employers template policies, trainings, and surveys plus best practices.
FAIR (Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal) Act
The FAIR Act defines aims to end predispute arbitration agreements. Arbitration agreements do not favor employees because they deprive them of their rights to the civil justice system.
An effort to address the gender pay gap, the Paycheck Fairness Act holds employers accountable for retaliating against workers who share wage information and places the burden on employers to justify pay gaps. Workers can then sue for wage discrimination.
The PRO Act will empower workers to negotiate better wages, benefits, and working conditions while preventing employers from interfering in union elections and other workers’ rights violations through penalties. It will also override “right-to-work” laws that prevent unions from collecting dues from the workers they represent. (Unions drive gender equality, higher wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces, but union membership is only 10 percent of the country’s workforce.)
Since the House has passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (HR 1195), workplace violence has only increased according to the American Nurses Association (ANA)’s surveys. It’s now the Senate’s turn to help end the violence now.
Overall, the likelihood of health care workers being exposed to violence is higher than prison guards or police officers – with 1 in 4 nurses having been assaulted at work. And health care settings have only become riskier and more intense from the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot address workforce shortages without addressing working conditions. They go hand-in-hand.
For years, ANA has been leading the charge to address workplace violence through its #EndNurseAbuse campaign, raising awareness about this issue and pushing for regulatory and legislative solutions. If passed, the bill would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop and enforce specific standards for health care and social service employers to hold them accountable for protecting their employees.