New bill hopes to protect country music industry workers from se - WSMV News 4

New bill hopes to protect country music industry workers from sexual harassment

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Tennessee State Capitol building (WSMV file photo) Tennessee State Capitol building (WSMV file photo)

Two Nashville lawmakers are proposing new legislation that aims to protect victims of workplace harassment in the country music industry.

Sen. Jeff Yarbro introduced the bill alongside Rep. Brenda Gilmore and Nashville country music artist Katie Armiger.  

Arminger, who says she was the victim of harassment throughout her career has been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual harassment ever since. 

“I was a teenager dealing with radio programmers touching me under tables at industry events and making inappropriate sexual remarks,” Arminger said at a press conference announcing the legislation.  “I was instructed to not only tolerate it but encourage it if I wanted my music to be played.”

Armiger, like many other aspiring artists, singers and songwriters that work with record labels, are under contract but are not actually employees of the record label.  Therefore, they are not protected by the same workplace harassment laws as an applicant or employee.  

“They’re often entering a world that’s full of legal loopholes, devoid of what most of us expect and take for granted in the workplace,” said Sen. Yarbro.  “And that’s what we’re trying to fix today.”

SB2130 and HB1984, if passed, would extend workplace harassment protections to anyone working under a contract, even if they’re not an employee.  “No one should ever have to endure harassment,” Armiger added.  “Especially while trying to put food on the table or trying to pursue their dreams.”

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