FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Jan. 31, 2017
Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee
OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed out of the Senate’s Labor & Commerce Committee today.
“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills out of committee is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, chair of the Senate Labor and Commerce committee. “We heard gut-wrenching testimony in committee from victims explaining the long-term impacts of harassment. It is past time to start addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Right now, we are seeing a cultural shift when it comes to what is acceptable in the workplace. Women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen. These bills will provide a path forward for victims to report complaints without fear of losing their jobs or suffering other forms of retaliation. We must no longer limit the economic and career potential of half of our population. We must demand that our workplace ethos shifts to reflect our values of fairness and respect.”
- Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
- Senate Bill 6313 addresses mandatory employment contracts and agreements that limit an employee’s right to file a complaint or cause of action for sexual harassment or sexual assault.
- Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.
All three bills passed out of committee, and will now move to the Rules Committee for further consideration before going to the floor.
For more information or interviews: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326