ROSEN, WARREN INTRODUCE BILL TO REQUIRE PUBLIC COMPANIES TO DISCLOSE SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) announced the introduction of the Sunlight in Workplace Harassment Act (H.R. 5028). This bill would require publicly-traded companies to disclose the number and monetary value of settlements paid out as a result of sexual harassment and other discrimination claims against corporate officers based on race, religion, sex, and other criteria to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“The flood of allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful individuals has created a moral imperative for all of us to shine a spotlight on these abuses of power in the workplace,” said Rosen. “This is a real problem for workers in Nevada and across the country, and Congress has a responsibility to take a leading role in putting an end to workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Requiring public companies to report these settlements will help lead to greater transparency, safer work environments, and a more robust discussion of how to prevent workplace misconduct and hold people in power accountable.”
“We are in a moment in American history where people are coming together to say enough. But there won’t be real change until harassment in all corners of the country is exposed and the harassers are held accountable,” said Senator Warren. “Our bill will help unmask secret settlements that provide cover for the powerful to get away with abuse, harassment, and discrimination, while simultaneously protecting accusers’ privacy. Congress has a responsibility to pass it right away.”
BACKGROUND: The Sunlight in Workplace Harassment Act would:
Require public companies to disclose the total number and aggregate dollar amount of disputes settled by the company related to sexual abuse or harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, servicemember status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Require public companies to disclose the average length of time it takes to resolve harassment complaints, as well as the total number of pending harassment complaints the company seeking to resolve through internal processes or through litigation.
Prohibit the SEC from disclosing the names of accusers and provide accusers with the option of limiting the extent to which details of their settlements are disclosed to the public.
Require public companies to disclose information on their efforts to prevent the perpetration of harassment, discrimination, and abuse by their employees.