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Step 2: Senate Passes Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act

by | Feb 14, 2022 | Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Sexual Harassment |

Best Employment Discrimination Attorneys Answers: Can I sue my boss in Court for raping me? Can my employer block me from filing a public lawsuit after being sexually harassed at work? What are my options if my manager sexually harassment in the workplace?

Last week, I discussed how important the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act is for working women. (Best Law Read: Step 1: House Passes Ending Forced Arbitration Of Sexual Assault And Sexual Harassment Act; see also Newsweek: Superstars & Superheroes: Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm). By voice vote, which indicates overwhelming bipartisan support. Again, President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will sign the Bill into law, which will take effect immediately and be retroactive for all cases that are not currently pending in court or arbitration.

Here are what some of the Senators said after passing the Bill.

“We are giving these workers a new path to justice,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who introduced the bill with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-NC) in 2017. She further told the media: “The bill is going to help fix a broken system that protects perpetrators and corporations and ends the days of silencing survivors. No longer will survivors of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace come forward and be told that they are legally forbidden to sue their employer because somewhere buried in their employment contracts was this forced arbitration clause. The Ending Forced Arbitration and Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act will void all forced arbitration provisions for sexual assault and harassment, allowing them to have their day in court. A basic constitutional right, your day in court to be heard and to aspire to justice.”

Senator Graham added: “Most people have no idea what they’re doing when they sign an employment contract, and the idea that you’re going to sign away your day in court when you’re abused in the workplace, those days are over. No more arbitration in the basement about misconduct up top. The day of being quiet and doing it where nobody understands what happened, and the woman next door doesn’t know that the same guy that’s doing it to her also did it to the lady down the hall. Those days are over.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said,  “It is an outrage that women and men who are abused cannot seek justice are forced to be quiet are forced to keep the agony inside themselves, it is outrageous. For decades, this forced arbitration has deprived millions of people from the basic right to justice.” He added that this reform was “long overdue.”

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), a co-sponsor of the House-passed bill, issued this statement: “From employment paperwork and lease agreements to the terms and conditions for apps and services, the majority of Americans have unknowingly signed their rights away… Nullifying these ‘forced arbitration’ clauses for sexual assault and harassment claims will let survivors’ voices be heard.”

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said that “this is a good bill, a righteous bill, a just bill. … When you start talking about sexual assault and sexual harassment, nobody goes into a new employment thinking, ‘Well, I better double-check all the fine print and make sure there’s nothing in there that would allow me to be sexually harassed or sexually abused.’”

Not everyone thinks that the rights of sexually harassed women are important, however. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a traditionally business-favoring lobbying group, said in a statement that  it “strongly opposes” the legislation, claiming that arbitration is “a fair, effective, and less expensive means of resolving disputes compared with going to court.” Anyone who opposed this Bill values saving businesses money and negative exposure over the safety and rights of sexual harassment and sexually abused victims. Anyone who voted against this Bill should not receive another vote from working women, fathers of daughters, sons with working mothers, or people who actually have values. If you want to check which members of the House voted against protecting women, you can find the list here.

The next step is the President’s desk for signing. I can hardly wait.

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Sexual harassment is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar Ohio laws. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually hostile working environment created by your boss of coworkers, call the right attorney now to set up a free and confidential consultation. At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, you will meet with lawyers who are experienced in fighting sexual harassment in the workplace. These experienced attorneys will help you best determine what your legal options are and the best way to protect your employment law rights. Sexual harassment is always wrong. Call our top attorneys in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Boardman, Akron, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Disclaimer:

The materials available at the top of this page and at this gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sexual harassment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “what should I do if my manager demanded that I give him oral have sex”, “I’m being sexually harassed in the workplace by coworkers” “the owner of the company that I work for asked me on a date”, “my supervisor gropes my boobs,” “Can I sue if I’ve been wrongfully fired for reporting sexual harassment,” or “how do I arbitrate my employment claim”, your best course is to contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this employment law website are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.