WILL THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT I SIGNED WHEN I WAS HIRED PREVENT ME FROM FILING A LAWSUIT FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE WORKPLACE?
On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law one of the most significant changes in employment law in decades when he signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. The law bans forced arbitration in cases involving sexual misconduct and allows victims the option of bringing the dispute in federal or state court.
Currently, more than 60 million Americans are subject to mandatory arbitration agreements with their employers; the employees were required to sign the agreements to be hired. Arbitration agreements have become standard practice in many industries, including the banking and finance sectors of the economy. The agreements severely limit the legal options for employees who are victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and make it difficult to hold companies and employers accountable for wrongdoing. The agreements take away the rights of victims to have their cases heard by judges and juries of their peers; instead, the decisionmaker in arbitration is typically a lawyer who usually favors the employer in these disputes.
Under the new law, predispute arbitration agreements and class action waivers are invalid and unenforceable with respect to a case or lawsuit which is filed that relates to a sexual assault or sexual harassment. The legislation takes effect immediately and applies to all existing arbitration agreements, even those signed prior to March 3, 2022. This is great news for workers who feel they have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment in the workplace. Moving forward, employees will be free to file lawsuits in federal or state court and juries made up of average citizens will be the decision maker on this type of claim.
If you feel you have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment in the workplace, contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor to discuss your claim and get the help you need. The initial consultation is free.