Jayapal Legislation to End Forced Arbitration, Enshrine Protections for Survivors Signed into Law
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal co-led the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, a bipartisan bill that will empower survivors to seek justice
WASHINGTON — U.S. House Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Cheri Bustos (IL-07), and Morgan Griffith (VA-09) applauded President Biden for signing the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act into law. The bill will ban forced arbitration, empower survivors of sexual assault and harassment to seek justice, and hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable. As the lead co-sponsor on the House Judiciary Committee, Jayapal helped pass the bill in the House with broad bipartisan support.
“Today is a historic day for survivors of sexual assault. We’ve said clearly and decisively that we believe them and that they deserve to pursue justice for themselves,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “Forced arbitration has for far too long silenced survivors and I’m happy to see this predatory practice banned for good. I’m grateful to President Biden for signing the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act into law, and to my colleagues Reps. Cheri Bustos, Morgan Griffith, and David Cicilline who’ve helped get this legislation to where it is today.”
“Today, with the stroke of a pen, survivors of sexual assault and harassment across the country are finally freed from the silence of forced arbitration,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “It was such an honor to join President Joe Biden at the White House as legislation I’ve championed for five years was finally signed into law,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “I want to thank my colleagues in the House who led this bipartisan coalition, Reps. Cicilline, Griffith and Buck, and particularly Rep. Jayapal, who has stood with me from day one on this issue. And thanks to the courage of survivors and activists like Gretchen Carlson, Andowah Newton, Tatitana Spottiswoode, Lora Henry, Tanuja Gupta and the American Association of Justice, who bravely fought for this day. This law will put an end to the days when survivors of sexual harassment, abuse and even rape can be silenced and denied their day in court.”
“Enactment of this bipartisan, bicameral bill is a victory for accountability and will aid survivors of sexual assault and harassment in their quest for justice. Those who endure sexual assault and harassment deserve the chance to have their claims judged in an unbiased process, and our bill delivers,” said Congressman Morgan Griffith. “ I am proud to have worked on this important bill with my colleagues and all who want to see more fairness in our legal system.”
More than 60 million Americans are subjected to forced arbitration clauses, which shield perpetrators and prevent survivors from choosing how they’d like to seek justice for wrongful and abusive treatment. The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act empowers them to have their day in court.
Forced arbitration clauses are buried in the fine print of everything from employment agreements and ubiquitous terms and conditions to everyday digital click-through “agreements.” The bipartisan bill will simply void forced arbitration provisions as they apply to sexual assault and harassment survivors, allowing survivors to seek justice, discuss their cases publicly, and eliminate institutional protections for harassers.
Jayapal has been a longtime advocate for workplace safety, and was proud to co-lead this legislation when it was introduced last year.