Gretchen Carlson wants sexual harassment legislation on Trump's desk

Author and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has become a champion and prototype for speaking out against workplace sexual harassment, and now she is determined to take her advocacy to the next level by putting sexual harassment legislation on President Donald Trump’s desk.

In 2016, her groundbreaking lawsuit against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes led other high profile women, like Megyn Kelly, to speak out about their own stories within the Fox organization -- which ultimately led to Ailes’ resignation and apology.

Sitting with Carlson before she took the stage at the BUILD Series and MAKERS event on Tuesday, she spoke about the next steps for her platform, which comes in the form of new bipartisan legislation aimed to remove arbitration clauses from employee and consumer contracts.

Trump, similar to Ailes, also has a past of accusers and accusations ranging from sexual assault to outright rape, his youngest alleged victim was 13-years-old at the time of her encounter with him. Recently, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice," filed a subpoena as part of an ongoing defamation lawsuit against the president, saying that she and his other accusers were lying about their allegations.

In light of these events, a bill that would purportedly land on the controversial U.S. leader’s desk would be a landmark moment for women, especially on the heels of the shocking Harvey Weinstein scandal -- he now has more than 40 accusers reporting claims of sexual assault. His case has even sparked international concern with the U.K. opening two investigations on more claims against the disgraced Hollywood producer.

RELATED: Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault

35 PHOTOS
Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
Paz de la Huerta, who stars on HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire,' claims Harvey Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in 2010: "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him," she told Vanity Fair. "I did say no, and when he was on top of me, I said, 'I don't want to do this' ... It was disgusting. He's like a pig."
British actress Lysette Anthony has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in her home in the late 1980s.
Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
Kate Beckinsale has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in his hotel room when she was 17 years old.
Tara Subkoff said that in the 1990s, on the same day that she was offered a major movie role, she met Harvey Weinstein at a party. He allegedly made her sit on his lap while he had an erection. He then told her that if he did not do certain sexual things, she would not get the role that she'd already been offered. She declined. Afterward, she said, her "reputation was ruined by false gossip" and she found it near impossible to book roles.
Minka Kelly said that Harvey Weinstein offered her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for being his extramarital girlfriend. She declined.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. After she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, Pitt confronted him, leading Weinstein to contact Paltrow and "scream" at her, she said.
Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
Angelina Jolie said she had a "bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth" and refused to work with him subsequently.
Jessica Barth has accused Harvey Weinstein of demanding that she get naked and give him a massage.
Emma de Caunes has accused Harvey Weinstein of unexpectedly getting naked and demanding that she lie down as other women had supposedly done before her.
Lauren Sivan has accused Harvey Weinstein of cornering her in a public space and masturbating to completion in front of her.
Mira Sorvino, seen here at a Weinstein Co. event in January 2017, said that after refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances, he dissuaded others in the industry from hiring her.
Ambra Battilana has accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her breasts and reaching under her skirt. She went to the NYPD and then conducted a sting operation, the audio of which was published by the New Yorker. In the audio, Weinstein can be heard attempting to coerce her to enter his hotel room.
Louisette Geiss has accused Harvey Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room after assuring her he wouldn't hit on her. He then disrobed and repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, telling her he would produce her screenplay if she did.
Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Rosanna Arquette has accused Harvey Weinstein of dissuading others from hiring her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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Carlson, along with Democratic lawmakers, drafted legislation to make the process of filing sexual harassment complaints more transparent. Specifically, her proposed bill would remove the secrecy around the practice of arbitration in workplace complaints.

“That particular bill would eradicate arbitration clauses completely, and while I did speak out in favor of that, I think it’s imperative that we have a bipartisan effort on this,” Carlson said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to get the other side to completely get rid of arbitration so my approach is more baby steps... to just take the secrecy element away."

"Because that in and of itself would even out the pendulum of power,” she added.

As Carlson reaches across the aisle for Republican support for the proposed bill, awareness of sexual harassment has begun to further take shape with the help of a trending social media movement called #MeToo, which has seen more than 1,000,000 shares on Twitter.

During the past week, as our social media feeds flooded with personal stories of sexual assault survivors, we can see the national dialogue on these once taboo matters begin to explode.

RELATED: BUILD series and MAKERS host Gretchen Carlson

16 PHOTOS
BUILD series and MAKERS host Gretchen Carlson
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BUILD series and MAKERS host Gretchen Carlson
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
BUILD Series and MAKERS presented a special conversation and VIP book launch event with Gretchen Carlson to kick off the #BeFierce movement in conjunction with the release of her highly-anticipated second book, "BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back."
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“Things like the MeToo hashtag have kept the story alive and growing and I think this is one way in which social media has been really positive,” Carlson said. “Today there was a lot of male hashtags as well about how they need to speak up and I think that’s really continuing the conversation in a positive way."

“Be Fierce,” Carlson’s newly released book, is her way of continuing that conversation, she speaks directly to women helping them to create a plan if they are experiencing unwanted sexual advances in their place of employment, walking them through how to go about creating that plan and even advocating for sharing their stories with colleagues who are both male and female.

“I want women to know that courage starts young and it’s a process,” she said. “I had a mom who told me I could be anything I wanted to be. And if women haven’t heard that I hope they hear that from me now.”

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