Massachusetts Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Katherine Clark on Tuesday introduced a new bill to address issues of workplace harassment exposed by the #MeToo movement. Clark spoke with WGBH Radio’s Mark Herz about the Be Heard in the Workplace Act. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Mark Herz: So there's a lot to unpack in this legislation. Why don’t you tell us about the range of what this covers?

Rep. Katherine Clark: Well it does many things. It's the first time we've really put many different pieces of workplace safety and equality into one piece of legislation. One of the things it does is it prohibits mandatory arbitration and pre-dispute nondisclosure agreements. We know that these sort of pre-dispute agreements have helped be part of the secrecy and the manipulation of workers who just want to earn their paycheck and be safe on the job, but because of these agreements, we have chronic harassment that goes on without folks being held accountable. It also would do away with the tipped minimum wage.

Herz: Well, what’s the connection between being a tipped worker and dealing with harassment?

Clark: We know, the statistics tell us, that 60 percent of women who work for tips have experienced sexual harassment. The tips are actually used as a tool, that if you want to earn a living, you are going to have to put up with sexual harassment. By eliminating the tip, by phasing out that separate wage, we hope that is going to empower workers to know that they will get their paycheck that they deserve, and it will allow them to be able to speak up and report harassment without worrying that the tips will be removed from them.

Herz: Well I'm imagining that some of the elements in this bill will be facing a lot of pushback from business interests and lobbyists. Are you already seeing that and hearing that?

Clark: We are just filing the bill today, and we're sure that this is going to be the beginning of a conversation with businesses. We've really tried to draft this bill with not only making sure that workers can hold employers accountable, but also trying to understand that small businesses may be trying to do the right thing, but they simply don't have the resources or the time to prepare training materials, whether you're working in a commercial kitchen, a manufacturing floor, or you're working in a boardroom.

Herz: What are the bill's chances in the Republican-controlled Senate?

Clark: Well we certainly hope that this is going to be one of those bills that's going to have broad bipartisan support. This is about workers across this country. It knows no political ideology, and it's across the economic spectrum. It's such a fundamental bill and it's such common sense in so many ways that if you're interested in building strong communities and strong economies, this is a great way to do it.

Herz: So this is the first comprehensive federal bill to take on harassment that's been highlighted by the #MeToo movement. What have been the obstacles in Congress towards a bill with these types of protections?

Clark: Well, we have taken parts of over seven different bills to put into this. We are seeing a cultural shift that's been brought by the #MeToo movement, and we are also part of responding to that and saying enough is enough. Now is the time that we say to everyone, we're going to level the playing field. And if you're a domestic worker or you're an attorney or a surgeon, your workplace should be safe for you, and Congress is going to be there to give voice to those workers.

Herz: That's Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark. She and her fellow congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley, are introducing a bill aimed at addressing issues of workplace harassment.