US lawmakers announce bipartisan push to end forced arbitration in the workplace

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — United States lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say workers should not be forced to stay quiet about bad behavior.

“End the days of institutional protections for harassers,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said.

On Wednesday, Gillibrand announced bipartisan legislation to end forced arbitration over cases of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.

“Removing those provisions would give survivors their day in court,” Gillibrand said.

The bill eliminates contract clauses that prevent survivors from seeking justice and public accountability.

“Forced arbitration is unfair because it creates an uneven playing field,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

Graham says employees shouldn’t have to leave their rights at the door.

“To go to work, you can’t sign away your dignity,” Graham said.

The legislation has already received bipartisan backing in both the Senate as well as the House.

“But we’ve got way too many people who have been silenced for way too long,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said.

Bustos says too many Americans are under these contracts and don’t even realize it.

“We have 60 million Americans, 60 million Americans, who are living under these forced arbitration clauses,” Bustos said.

Survivor and activist Gretchen Carlson says victims need support from Congress.

“No one can be expected to do their best job at work when they have a muzzle on,” Carlson said.

Graham also called on businesses to come to the table and join the change to end these arbitrations.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Tennessee at the Olympics

More Tennessee Olympians

Latest News Videos

Peyton Manning coming to Knoxville for Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Mayor Jacobs: No new COVID restrictions

Dollywood releases August career and jobs fair schedule

Records: State spent $11K on influencers for airfare promo

Knox County detectives searching for missing couple

WWE Smackdown coming to Knoxville