The Bill

It’s currently perfectly legal for a worker to be treated with severe cruelty and for the perpetrator to escape any responsibility for it. Many people think that all workers are protected by Title VII – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – but that is not true. Even people who are legally protected under the law because they are members of a protected class (race, age, disability, gender, religion, national origin and so on) must be able to prove that the harassment was as a direct result of their protected class. That is near impossible.

Why should it matter why someone is abusing you? Shouldn’t it just matter that they are abusing you? The current system is not protecting workers from abuse and that needs to change.

The Healthy Workplace Bill creates a legal claim for bullying targets who can prove they were subjected to malicious, health-harming behavior and provides defenses for employers who act preventively and responsively to discourage frivolous claims.

So far, the bill has been introduced in 32 states but not one state has passed it. Internationally, Australia, the UK and Canada have laws in place protecting workers for many years.

Washington was the 4th state to introduce a Respectful Workplace Bill

  • In the 2016 legislative session two companion bills were introduced.
  • The 2016 session was only 60 days long and w were not able to get the bill passed out of committee for a vote.
  • In 2017 (another short session) we are doubling our efforts for passage of this important legislation to protect workers in WA state.
  • Read the text of SB5423 introduced Jan. 25 2017

 

Washington state has a history of being the first on many important social issues so let’s continue that trend. Help us make Washington state one of the first states to pass a Respectful Workplace bill!