“The introduction of the Fair Employment Protection Act in Congress today is a badly needed step toward restoring essential protections for workers who face harassment from supervisors on the job. The U.S. Supreme Court eroded those protections in its troubling decision in Maetta Vance v. Ball State University last year. This legislation is needed to enable victims of supervisor harassment of all kinds to hold their employers accountable.
No one should face harassment at work, especially at the hands of the very people who have the power to control their day-to-day work and inflict harm. Yet sexual and other forms of workplace harassment persist, and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Vancemade it easier for insidious harassment by supervisors to go unchecked. That is why the Fair Employment Protection Act is so important.
This bill would amend federal nondiscrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, to restore protections against supervisor harassment. Specifically, it would make it clear that employers can be held vicariously liable for harassment by individuals who have the authority to direct an employee’s daily activities.
We applaud every member of Congress who is supporting this bill. Combating and preventing workplace harassment is fundamental to basic fairness and equal opportunity. Victims of harassment suffer tremendous emotional and economic harm. They need and deserve this protection.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.