Tennessee to try anti-harassment bill again next year

The Tennessee State Capitol Building in downtown Nashville is seen in this photo. A Tennessee state house panel voted on March 5, 2019, to advance a business anti-discrimination bill that advocacy groups fear would further an anti-LGBT agenda in the state.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee House panel says more work is needed before the GOP-dominant statehouse can pass legislation strengthening anti-harassment protections for independent contractors.

The issue has hit home in Nashville’s country music industry as women have spoken out against the sexual harassment they’ve faced from top industry executives. Musicians have warned that as independent contractors, they aren’t granted the same workplace protections as traditional employees and are thus prevented from filing claims.

This year, Democrats submitted a bill allowing independent contractors to file sexual harassment complaints against employers.

However, the panel ultimately decided the bill raised too many unknowns in its current form. Instead, the panel agreed on Tuesday to study the issue over the summer and try again next year.

A similar proposal failed in 2018.

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