The Senate unanimously passed a landmark bill on Thursday that forbids companies from forcing sexual assault or harassment claims into arbitration.
The bill, which passed the House on Monday with 335 votes, cleared the Senate on a voice vote, underscoring its widespread, bipartisan support. It now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The legislation, titled the Ending Forced Arbitration Act, was spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, as well as Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois. (RELATED: Bipartisan Group Fights To Keep Military Justice Reform Regarding Sexual Assault In Defense Bill)
The days of sexual harassment and sexual assault cases being buried in unfair arbitration clauses are now over.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 10, 2022
After the vote, Gillibrand called the bill “one of the most significant workplace reforms in the past 50 years.”
Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson also played an integral role in the bill’s passage, which comes over four years after she was blocked from filing a sexual harassment suit against the network in 2016. Carlson eventually settled a claim against the network’s then-director, Robert Ailes, for $20 million, but she is still bound to a nondisclosure agreement that forbids her disclosure of the specific details.
Carlson was pictured in the Capitol Thursday celebrating the bill’s passage.
The Chamber of Commerce was one of the largest organizations that opposed the bill, calling arbitration a “fair, effective, and less expensive means for resolving disputes.”
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