RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUN 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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36 June 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Professional women are also more likely than men to deal with discrim - ination, or microaggressions, on a daily basis, according to McKinsey & Company's Women in the Work - place 2018 report. Sixty-four per- cent of women reported that they face microaggressions in the office. Women and men both agree that companies need to do more to cre - ate a safer, more inclusive work en- vironment. As of now, 40 percent say disrespectful behavior toward women is quickly addressed, while 32 percent state that their company acts swiftly in response to sexual ha - rassment claims. The need to eradi- cate this harassment and abuse in all sectors including the workplace is imperative, as the damage it causes to a person's life and career is irre - versible and has lifelong effects. To address this issue, Congress recently introduced the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Dis - crimination in the Workplace Act, otherwise called the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act (BE HEARD Act), in an attempt to end workplace dis - crimination across all industries and in businesses of all sizes by improving current workplace harass - ment laws. The legislation promises to strengthen discrimination protec - tions for LGBTQ workers; prohibit mandatory forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements that pre - vent employees from speaking about their experiences of harassment; eliminate tipped minimum wage; and make it easier for employees to report instances of workplace ha - rassment and receive compensation from their employers. The BE HEARD Act distinguishes itself among other bills that have ad - dressed workplace harassment— which have focused on sexual ha - rassment on college campuses, the military, government and other ar - eas—because it will encompass all industries that deal with this global issue. Some of the legislation's key provi - sions include: • Extending civil rights protections, such as the prohibition against employee discrimination, to all employees regardless of busi - ness size and to those who are not considered "employees" (e.g., interns, volunteers, trainees, etc.). • Offering guidelines for judges and employers to help identify which conduct does and does not con - stitute unlawful harassment. • Prohibiting employers from mak - ing employees sign blanket non- disclosure agreements upon job acceptance. • Restoring protections for employ - ees harassed by supervisors and making it easier to hold supervi - sors liable for harassment even though the supervisor does not have authority to fire, demote, promote or transfer. • Assisting employers in creating workspaces that are free of ha - rassment through research and data collection, model policies and trainings, best practices per industry and workplace climate surveys. The BE HEARD in the Workplace Act is taking steps in not only identifying, reporting and responding to work - place harassment, but also in pre- venting its future occurrence. Every- one deserves to work in an inclusive environment free from discrimination no matter their gender, race, ethnici - ty, sexual orientation, or position. RE Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chair- woman of NAWRB's Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in hous- ing, Patno is a champion for women's economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4 th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com. The BE HEARD Act Addresses Workplace Harassment in All Industries Commentary by Desirée Patno H arassment in the workplace has been the subject of countless news articles and segments in recent years, as professionals from diverse industries continue coming forward to report their experiences. Thirty-five percent of American women, and nine percent of men, have been sexually harassed or abused in the workplace, according to a 2017 poll by PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.

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