Attorney General Pam Bondi and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein are leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from every U.S. state and territory urging Congress to end secret, forced arbitration in cases of workplace sexual harassment. Too often employees are required to sign employment contracts containing arbitration agreements mandating that sexual harassment claims be resolved through private arbitration instead of the judicial process. The secrecy surrounding these proceedings can protect serial violators and provide inadequate relief to victims.
“Decades of private arbitration proceedings regarding sexual harassment have had the unintended consequence of protecting serial violators and it must end,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan coalition of all 56 U.S. attorneys general, along with General Stein, and look forward to the passage of strong federal legislation to help protect employees from workplace sexual harassment.”
The letter sent Monday to leaders in the United States House of Representative and the United States Senate asks Congress to pass appropriately-tailored legislation to ensure that sexual harassment victims have a right to their day in court.
“Congress today has both opportunity and cause to champion the rights of victims of sexual harassment in the workplace by enacting legislation to free them from the injustice of forced arbitration and secrecy when it comes to seeking redress from egregious misconduct condemned by all concerned Americans,” states the letter.
Attorneys general from the states, D.C. and five U.S. territories joined the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
It has been a decade since all 56 U.S. Attorneys General have joined a letter to Congress. A copy of the letter is available here.