Mandatory arbitration is alleged to bring fast closure to a traumatic experience for sexual harassment and assault victims. Its opponents claim that this forced agreement only works to save the business’s reputation without any regard for the employees. The Ending Forced Arbitration Act provides protections to employees in California and other states who want to pursue their lawsuits in court.
New and improved federal law
In March 2022, the U.S. government passed the Ending Forced Arbitration Act, which is an amendment to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). This new act allows employees who were prior victims of sexual assault or harassment and were forced to make mandatory arbitration agreements. They are now allowed to file lawsuits against their employers in court. They have the additional option of filing a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Employee opportunities for justice
In the past, countless employers created policies that forced sexual harassment and assault lawsuits into arbitration to avoid scandals. They made forced agreements to prevent employees from publicly accusing them of harassment and bringing media attention to the business’s unethical practices. Making a settlement outside of court is more private and less likely to harm the business’s reputation. It also reduces the likelihood that employees will press criminal charges against the employer or coworker.
Employee rights are protected under federal law
The Ending Forced Arbitration Act was partly inspired by the #MeToo movement that seeks to end sexual harassment and assaults. This new federal law gives greater protections to employees in all 50 states. They are no longer forced into mandatory arbitration that forces them to abide by the employer’s rules.