Stefanik Co-sponsors Bill To Combat Workplace Sexual HarassmentPosted: Updated:
North country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined other lawmakers Wednesday to launch a bill to help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Stefanik, a Republican, is co-sponsoring the bill with other members of Congress, including Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The 'Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act of 2017' would void forced arbitration agreements that prevent sexual harassment survivors from getting the justice they deserve.
The measure would allow survivors of sexual harassment or discrimination to seek justice, discuss their cases publicly, and eliminate institutional protection for harassers.
An estimated 60 million Americans are currently subject to forced arbitration clauses.
“This bill will help protect victims by giving them the opportunity to come forward publicly and have their stories heard. And by shedding light on these crimes and their perpetrators, this bill will also help prevent these disgusting crimes from ever taking place. As policy makers, it’s time for us to join together and put an end to sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace,” said Congresswoman Stefanik.
They were joined by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired from her job for rejecting the sexual advances of the chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, who later resigned.
Forced arbitration clauses prevent survivors of sexual harassment from discussing the nature or basis of their complaint. If an employee’s contract or employee handbook includes a forced arbitration clause, the employee is likely to have signed away his or her right to a jury trial whether or not they are aware of the clause.
Employees are far more likely to win cases that go to trial than cases that go through the arbitration process, Stefanik said.