Press Releases

Wexton Votes to Pass Bill to End Forced Arbitration for Sexual Assault and Harassment

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass bipartisan, bicameral legislation to end forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault survivors nationwide. Wexton is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

“Forced arbitration perpetuates a culture of silence that protects abusers and prevents survivors from seeking the justice they deserve,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Millions of Americans have signed away their right to bring claims of sexual harassment and assault to court, and they may not even know it. I’m proud that we’re taking bipartisan action to stand with survivors and ensure that harassers and abusers are held accountable.”

The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act will void forced arbitration agreements in any contract if a sexual assault or harassment claim is brought. For employment contracts, more than 60 million Americans would be impacted. That estimate grows exponentially when considering other contracts and terms and conditions where forced arbitration clauses are typically found, such as in nursing homes, property leases, ride-share apps, movers, handyman services and more.

By voiding forced arbitration clauses in the case of sexual assault and harassment, survivors are provided the freedom to decide what legal path works best for them – such as bringing a claim in court, discussing their case publicly, or seeking another kind of legal remedy. The bill would eliminate institutional protection for harassers and abusers that allow them to push survivors into the secretive, biased process of forced arbitration, giving survivors a better opportunity to pursue justice.

The bill has been endorsed by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Public Citizen, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Partnership for Women and Families, Futures Without Violence, Jewish Women International, Lift Our Voices, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Public Citizen, RAINN, RALIANCE, and Sexual Violence Prevention Association, the Malouf Foundation, the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, and the House LGBTQ Equality Caucus.