#MeToo Win: Biden Signs H.R. 4445 Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment
Many employers, as part of the on-boarding process at the beginning of the employment relationship, require its employees to sign a mandatory arbitration provision that essentially forfeits the employee’s right to bring most employment law disputes to court, thus waiving the employee’s right to a trial by jury. If an employee has grievances and makes a claim (including claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment), the conflict must be resolved through arbitration, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution.
On March 3, 2022, the President signed a new bill, H.R. 4445, into law. The bill (named “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021”) prohibits employers from mandating claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment be settled via arbitration and from including clauses that waive an employee’s right to file and/or participate in a class-action suit based on sexual assault or harassment allegations.
Many legislators, lawmakers, attorneys, and others are very pleased that this bill has been passed as this is a major victory that enables victims/survivors to fight to obtain justice with one less obstacle. It is important to note that this bill doesn’t just impact employment relationships. This law protects contractors, patients, customers, and any party that might have been forced to enter an arbitration agreement (with a business).
How Your Employer Should Respond
As this law has been enacted, employers should take steps to ensure they adhere to this new legislation. Your employer should review any existing arbitration agreements as arbitration clauses will no longer be enforceable concerning sexual assault and harassment claims. Employers (and employees) should also stay abreast of state legislation as they may introduce laws that prohibit arbitration agreements entirely.
Get Help from Our Sexual Harassment Attorneys
At Davis & Davis, P.C., our attorneys have over 60 years of combined legal experience and have represented hundreds of sexual assault and sexual harassment victims/survivors. Dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible results (concerning receiving justice, recovering damages, etc.), we are here to help clients navigate their cases successfully.
Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, inappropriate physical contact or messages, making innuendos, quid pro quo, and more, and even people working at home can still face sexual harassment from coworkers and/or bosses. If you feel victimized or scared, we can answer any questions you may have, help you file a claim, and discuss your legal options.
If you know anyone that is being subjected to workplace sexual assault or harassment, the lawyers at Davis & Davis, PC can help. Contact our team online or at (978) 228-2262 today for the legal representation you need and deserve.