Jason Habinsky in HR Magazine: New Legislation Aims for More Stringent Anti-Harassment Protections

04/16/2019

HR Magazine quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Habinsky in an article about U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s recent introduction of the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination (Be HEARD) in the Workplace Act. A companion bill is being introduced in the U.S. House.

Here is an excerpt:

The legislation seeks to capture, on a federal level, the broader workplace protections that many states and cities have advanced, noted Jason Habinsky, a partner at Haynes and Boone law firm in the greater New York City area. He handles labor and employment matters for domestic and international businesses.

"The goal is to … reduce the differences from jurisdiction to jurisdiction," allowing employers and employees to better understand the scope of protections, wherever they are located, he said. Additional guidance and information, he said, would be valuable for employers looking to create and improve training and policies that target workplace discrimination and harassment.

Additionally, he said, Murray's bill "would provide employees with a greater awareness of their rights and a better road map for enforcing those rights and pursuing available remedies."

Nondiscrimination policies, he noted, must evolve with changes in the law and in the workplace.

"It is critical for employers to recognize that having a policy alone is not enough. Employers must educate employees through interactive training on a regular basis to be certain that employees fully understand the applicable policies and their own rights and remedies."

Should Murray's bill or a comparable one pass, Habinsky said, "employers' human resources professionals should ensure that all applicable company policies and training content are compliant. Otherwise, appropriate modifications should be implemented. In addition, employers should ensure that all decision-makers are aware of the new requirements."

To read the full article, click here.

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