Congress Eliminates Mandatory Arbitration of Workplace Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims

On February 10, 2022, the Senate passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual harassment Act of 2021 (HR. 4445). When signed by President Biden (expected any day), it will amend the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to bar forced pre-dispute arbitration of workplace sexual assault and sexual harassment claims. The law will also bar waivers by employees of the right to bring such claims on a class basis.
The new law also requires that a court—not an arbitrator—decide whether a claim constitutes sexual harassment or sexual assault, even if the arbitration agreement requires such decision be made by the arbitrator.
In light of this development, we suggest employers who require employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements include a “carve-out” for claims of workplace sexual assault or harassment. At a minimum, any arbitration agreement should contain a carve-out for disputes that are barred by applicable federal or state law.

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address