WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), release an empowering bipartisan and bicameral legislation for sexual assault and harassment victims.
The legislature is announced in conjunction with lawmakers Dick Durbin (D-IL), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
“I very much appreciate the bipartisan effort to make sure that arbitration is not abused when it comes to victims of sexual assault and harassment,” said Senator Graham. “Under current law, many employment contracts require binding arbitration no matter the nature of the grievance. When it comes to sexual assault and harassment, I believe these types of agreements have a chilling effect and should be banned.”
The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act would prevent perpetrators from coercing their victims into forced arbitration, which prevents sexual assault and harassments victims form seeking justice under laws that are meant to protect them
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson was also present during Wednesday’s press conference.
“Following my harassment case against Roger Ailes at Fox News, I have fought tirelessly for the last five years on behalf of millions of Americans to end forced arbitration in the workplace,” says Carlson. “Today, I am proud to stand beside members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to stop silencing women and eradicate these restrictive clauses that punish women and men for simply having the courage to come forward.”
Carlson pioneered society’s understanding of how forced arbitration truly impacts employees along with established protections for perpetrators when she left Fox News after years of dealing with sexual harassment.
Forced arbitration clauses are hidden within the fine print official documents such as employment agreements, and terms and conditions – the clause would be voided by the new bill, and survivors would have more freedom in telling their stories in public court and cease workplace or institutional protections for harassers.
The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act is supported by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Public Citizen, the National Women’s Law Center, and the National Partnership for Women and Children.
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