Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021. As a result, it is illegal for employers to force employees, bound by arbitration agreements, into pre-dispute arbitration when they come forward with sexual harassment claims. This is an important development for employees who come forward with sexual harassment claims because it clears a direct path to seek damages with legal action.
Previously, an employee under an arbitration agreement could be compelled to participate in pre-dispute arbitration. This was problematic for employees because it created unnecessary barriers that provided employers with an unfair advantage.
For example, forced arbitration could artificially slow down the process by months, require employees to incur additional legal costs, and could end with a result in the employer’s favor under less rigorous circumstances than a civil lawsuit.
Although arbitration agreements can no longer cover sexual harassment or sexual assault claims, this isn’t the end of these agreements. As a condition of employment, an employer can still offer an arbitration agreement that covers other forms of discrimination, wrongful termination, wage-related claims, and other types of employment-related disputes.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
Rod Smith Law PLLC can help when you were sexually harassed at work. Because your employer can’t force you into arbitration for your claim, you can come to us for direct legal assistance. When you meet with us during your free initial consultation, we’ll learn more about what happened and offer ways in which our legal services can help.
For more information and to request your free initial consultation, contact Rod Smith Law PLLC online now.