Yesterday, the Senate passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (S. 2342). The bill gives survivors the chance to have their case heard in a court of law, rather than being forced into arbitration, away from public view. NELA and its public education and advocacy organization, the National Institute for Workers’ Rights (formerly the Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy), have worked for over a decade to end forced arbitration in the workplace. In 2009, the Institute coined the term “forced arbitration” following the release of significant public opinion research. Recently, NELA members from across the country lobbied for the end of this unjust practice during our 2021 Virtual Lobby Day. We look forward to the President’s signature on this historic piece of legislation.
NELA applauds the Senate for coming together in a unified and bipartisan fashion to support an issue that affects every segment of the workforce. We celebrate today’s victory, but this is not the end of our call to action. No worker, whether their claim relates to sexual harassment, stolen wages, or illegal discrimination based on race, disability, LGBTQ+ status, gender, or other reasons, should be denied the right to pursue justice in a court of law. We call on the House and Senate to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act S. 505 /H.R. 963) which would broadly prohibit forced arbitration of workplace and consumer disputes.