Ban on Forced Arbitration in Sexual Assault, Harassment Cases Clears House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House today passed H.R. 4445, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. The bill bans forced arbitration clauses in disputes involving sexual assault or sexual harassment and is supported on a bipartisan basis in both chambers of Congress. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee already passed the bill out of committee. Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Forced arbitration is bad across the board, but particularly pernicious when used to protect perpetrators of sexual assault and companies that shield such conduct. With this action by the House, the bill is primed to pass the Senate as well, become law, and pave the way for an important reform to forced arbitration law.

“In private arbitration, there is no judge or jury, and the right to appeal is severely limited. Arbitrators do not have to follow the law or precedent. And proceedings take place behind a veil of secrecy that insulates perpetrators from accountability. Corporate apologists for arbitration often claim it is an alternative venue to obtain justice. But in practice, it’s a venue to insulate bad actors from transparency and accountability.”