A bill amending the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) passed with overwhelming support in the United States Senate on February 10, 2022, to protect employees and consumers from mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. See article.
The FAA facilitates dispute resolution through arbitration by creating a process of creating valid arbitration awards that are enforceable in court. While the process created by the FAA can be more streamlined than litigation, it is also not public, transparent process and it can be biased towards those who frequently appear before the same arbitrator. This bill passed by Congress would make special exceptions for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Businesses will soon be prohibited from mandating their employees from agreeing to bring sexual harassment and assault claims to arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit in court. The bill passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 335-97, then moved to the Senate for a vote. After passing in the Senate, the bill was sent for President Joe Biden’s signature, who has recently expressed his support.
Once signed into law, current and future employees will be released from the clutches of forced arbitration. Many lawmakers believe that this bill will make it increasingly difficult for companies to “cover-up” their wrongdoings. States like California and New York were the first to implement such a ban at a state level, with companies like Alphabet (Google), Wells Fargo, and Facebook leading the change at the corporate level.
Henrichsen Law Group, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience in handling sexual harassment, violence, and assault cases in workplaces, schools, public accommodations, and the like. You can find out more about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace on our website: https://www.employeelegalprotection.com/discrimination-harassment/sexual-harassment/.
To view our FAQ regarding Sexual Harassment in the workplace, please visit: https://hslawyers.com/2017/11/03/faqs-sexual-harassment-protect/