By: Barbara Hart, Principal in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice In a historic move by the White House, President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. Effective March 3, 2022, the new law will ban employers from enforcing pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class action waivers to resolve sexual assault or harassment claims. These agreements prevented survivors from taking their claims to court, effectively requiring them to resolve disputes behind closed arbitration doors. The Act:
  • Gives employees the option to invalidate a preexisting, pre-dispute agreement or waiver—survivors still have the choice to arbitrate their claims if they so choose.
  • Only applies to agreements and waivers that were signed before the dispute arose.
  • Applies only to claims that arose on or after March 3, 2022.
  • Does not apply to pre-dispute agreements and waivers that do not involve sexual assault or sexual harassment claims, which can still be enforced—i.e. claims of discrimination or retaliation.
The Act is a momentous and historic step forward for survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and represents another notable victory of the #MeToo movement.

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