#MeToo Bill Bans Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims
March 9, 2022
On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed H.R. 4445 (“Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021”), otherwise known as the #MeToo Bill. The bill bans the enforcement of contract clauses that require mandatory third-party arbitration for claims of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.
The ban does not prevent employees that bring claims forward from choosing to pursue third-party arbitration. The bill also does not apply retroactively but will be applicable to all claims brought forth from the date of signing.
Previously, employers were able to require that all claims against them be dealt with in arbitration instead of in court. Usually, this was done through an arbitration clause in employment contracts. The confidential nature of arbitration historically protected perpetrators and prevented victims of sexual harassment from speaking publicly. Now, employers will likely need to revise their employment agreements to allow for litigation of sexual harassment and assault claims.
If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace, or if you have a question regarding your employment agreement, contact us online or call (412) 338-1100.