Eliminating Language that Silences Workers’ Voices
Lift Our Voices (LOV) was founded in 2019– to give voice to those whom current policies and practices have rendered voiceless. Spearheaded by Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky, Lift Our Voices creates positive change for workers and finds solutions to address parity and equality issues for women and men, including abuse of power, harassment and discrimination.
Thanks to the personal advocacy of Carlson over the last five years, LOV achieved a major milestone in eliminating the harmful use of forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment and assault. Called “one of the biggest workplace reforms in history,” President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (H.R. 4445) into law on March 3, 2022.
60 million Americans are currently bound by forced arbitration and over one-third of the U.S. workforce Is bound by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Simply put, too many of us are forced to keep quiet if we want to keep our jobs.
Gender equality in the workplace cannot be addressed until we eradicate the widespread culture of silencing that prevents American workers from speaking up about gender discrimination, sexual harassment, misogyny, and other toxic behavior. Lift Our Voices’ mission is to protect American workers by giving those in toxic work environments the freedom to speak openly about their workplace experiences and free them from the laws and business practices that prevent employees from publicly discussing toxic workplace conditions.
In recent decades, arbitration clauses and non-disclosure agreements — once intended only to protect trade secrets — have been weaponized to silence American workers from speaking out about workplace toxicity. While these silencing mechanisms disproportionately affect women and people of color, they come at great cost to the entire economy, reducing productivity, robbing companies of talent, and driving millions out of the workforce. When workers are silenced, inequality persists. Issues like pay parity will never be addressed if workers are prevented from honestly discussing their circumstances in the workplace. Gender and racial equality will only thrive if employees can have honest discussions, without fear of silencing or retaliation. Lift Our Voices will continue to advocate for further changes to law to protect women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and all workers from workplace discrimination and abuse, and allow them the freedom and choice to seek justice and accountability. Lift Our Voices believes in transforming the American workplace into one where everyone can simply work with dignity.