With more and more people working as contractors in the current gig economy, many do not have jobs in the traditional sense of the word. This means they do not have any way to address harassment when they have been harmed by it. This is one of the reasons lawmakers in Colorado are taking steps to tighten up harassment laws in the workplace.
Since the advent of the #MeToo movement in 2017, 15 states have taken steps to strengthen workplace protections. Colorado will follow other states in restricting the use of confidentiality agreements in court. This means businesses may be held liable even if someone does not raise concerns internally before filing a lawsuit. Additionally, the bill would also allow independent contractors and unpaid interns to file harassment claims, with the time increasing form six months to two years. The bill proposes not to keep the identity of the accused confidential in a legal case.
Another key provision is to change the legal standard of harassment at work. According to one of the main proponents of the bill, the current standard is too high and demonstrates that there is a harassment level at work that is acceptable. The language is proposed to be changed to one that focuses on a person’s safety and well-being.
Sexual harassment and all other forms of harassment in the workplace prevent the environment from being a safe one. If harassed employees are afraid to speak up because of retaliation or discrimination, then the problem continues to persist. Those who have been a victim of harassment may not be aware of their legal rights in the situation, and one way to educate oneself about them might be by consulting a knowledgeable professional.