Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09) has introduced legislation to protect workers from retaliation by their employers. Grayson's bill prohibits employer retaliation against workers protesting employment conditions. It also provides victims of retaliation with legal recourse against employers who unfairly punish them for speaking out.
The impetus behind H.R. 2311, the "Worker Anti-Retaliation Act" came when Grayson learned about the recent firing of a St. Cloud WalMart employee, Vanessa Ferreira. Ferreira is Grayson's constituent, and believes that she was fired for speaking out against the company's poor employment conditions.
Ferreira expressed her support for Grayson's legislation, saying, "As Americans, we have rights. We have the right to speak up and we have the right to do so without fear of retaliation. Workers should not be in fear of losing their jobs because they are trying to get their employers to commit to fix the problems in their companies. No one should be fired for speaking the truth. That's not what this country is about, and that's not what we as Americans are about. I encourage all Members of Congress to support this bill and protect the rights of workers."
Grayson is a staunch supporter of worker rights. Last year, he joined another Central Florida WalMart worker, Lisa Lopez, as she walked off her job as part of a nationwide protest of the company's retaliation against workers speaking out for better job conditions. Lisa was fired from WalMart last week.
"WalMart is our nation's largest employer, and it is time to put an end to its retaliatory actions against workers who are merely asking for better working conditions and a livable wage," Grayson said. "Vanessa and Lisa should be commended for their commitment to a better life for the millions of WalMart employees across the country--but they have suffered retaliation for their efforts instead. This legislation will protect people like them, who are simply trying to achieve the American Dream."