Recently Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, with the President expected to sign the Act into law. The law amends the Federal Arbitration Act making predispute arbitration agreements dealing with sexual harassment or assault between employers and employees invalid and unenforceable.
While employers and employees can still agree to arbitrate sexual harassment and assault claims after a dispute occurs in the interest of privacy, the law prohibits employers from requiring employees to enter into employment agreements that waive an employee’s right to other legal remedies, or prevents their participation in a joint, class, or collective actions.
The Act also goes a step further by invalidating any existing arbitration agreement that force parties to arbitrate sexual harassment and assault disputes; any standing agreements are not enforceable after the date of enactment.
Sex discrimination is prohibited under the law and includes harassing a person because of that person’s sex, including the person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment or other forms of sex discrimination at your workplace, it is important to seek knowledgeable help. Contact the Davenport, Iowa employment discrimination lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson P.C. for immediate assistance today at 563-355-6478.