WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2022 – Today the Senate voted to pass the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. It now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
This groundbreaking bill will protect victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment from the unfair practice of forced arbitration. Forced arbitration is designed to give more power to the wealthy and to powerful corporations and to disempower survivors of harassment or assault and prevent survivors from finding justice in court. Instead, victims are forced into un unfair system where corporations write the rules, everything is done in secret, discovery is limited, and there is no meaningful judicial review. The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act ensures no one is forced to sign their rights away to be protected by the law should they be subjected to any form of sexual violence. Forced arbitration remains an obstacle to justice in many other contexts, and work must continue to end the practice across all of society.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:
“Today is such an important day for survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The law is now crystal clear: Forced arbitration cannot be used to limit access to justice when this kind of harm is done. The effects are also crystal clear: No longer will workers have to make the impossible decision to either sign away their rights or risk unemployment to feel safe on the job.
“This law will be an important dent in the menace of forced arbitration and the cruel way it protects the wealthy and powerful. We hope that this bill is only the first of many that restores true access to justice. Because of forced arbitration, workers, consumers, tenants, nursing home residents, and students all over still face incredible obstacles when seeking remedies to discrimination and other harmful abuses. If we can recognize that forced arbitration suppresses the rights of survivors of sexual violence, we can recognize how it suppresses the rights of everyone.”