Attorney General Becerra Urges Congress to Enact Important Legislation to Protect Survivors of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Monday, February 12, 2018
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56 AGs support legislation to end mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, along with 55 fellow Attorneys General, sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to pass legislation that would prohibit employers from mandating arbitration to resolve workplace sexual harassment claims. The Attorneys General stand together to argue that forced arbitration requirements regarding sexual harassment claims are unjust and that Congress must support legislation to ensure that victims of sexual harassment retain the right to have their claims heard in court. The letter additionally raises concerns about the secrecy that often accompanies the resolution of charges of workplace sexual harassment or violence.

“Sexual harassment and violence strike at the very core of a civilized society -- who we say we are. No one should experience such horror, and anyone who does deserves their day in court,” said Attorney General Becerra. “All employees deserve to work in an environment where they are treated with dignity and value, free from harm or disrespect. We should be in the business of making it easier, not harder, for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace to come forward. My fellow Attorneys General and I urge Members of Congress to ensure that the justice system is open to all, and that those responsible for misconduct will be held accountable.”

Mandatory arbitration clauses prevent workers from going to court when they believe their rights have been violated. These workers are instead forced into private arbitration, and they can be forced to give up their right to sue, participate in class actions, or appeal an adverse decision.

This letter, sponsored by the Attorneys General of North Carolina and Florida, was signed by the Attorneys General of nearly every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia and four territories.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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