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Bipartisan legislation was approved by Congress on Thursday, February 10, 2022, that bars the application of forced arbitration in cases of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. The measure has now been sent to President Biden in an effort to stop a secretive practice that has been used frequently to prevent perpetrators from experiencing public accountability.
The House overwhelmingly approved the bill on Monday, February 7, 2022, and the Senate followed three days later by a voice vote to clear the measure. The bill’s passage is likely to spur massive changes in the way companies address sexual abuse allegations. Employment attorneys have hailed it as one of the most influential advancements in labor laws in recent history. All indications from the White House suggest that President Biden will sign the legislation.
The forced arbitration bill makes strides in sexual assault and harassment survivors’ rights. It provides them with a means to sue their abusers in federal, tribal, or state court, even in situations where they signed an employment agreement that would bar these legal cases and require claims of misconduct to achieve settlement via arbitration.
Estimates indicate that some 60 million US workers have signed such agreements, and they have garnered public attention, at least in part, due to the #MeToo movement. The agreements are seen as a primary reason for the difficulty in penalizing those who commit sexual abuse in the workplace. The process of arbitration that many companies employ is secretive and can favor the individuals who are accused of perpetrating the offenses. Proponents of the legislation have stated that this often prevents victims from seeking accountability.
Individuals who experience sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace need an attorney who understands their needs and has the integrity and sensitivity to handle them with care. The professionals at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati have the experience and dedication to make their clients feel at ease while they pursue their case. Reach out today to see how we can help.