President Biden Signed #MeToo Bill Banning Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Disputes
Recently, President Biden signed into law a bill that prohibits enforcement of contract provisions that mandate third-party arbitration of workplace sexual harassment or sexual assault claims. The law amends the Federal Arbitration Act and provides that agreements that require arbitration or ban class actions alleging conduct constituting a sexual assault dispute or a sexual harassment dispute cannot be enforced.
The law only applies to any dispute or claim that arises or accrues on or after March 3, 2022. However, employers and employees may still mutually agree to arbitration after a claim arises. The statute does not explicitly require that employers amend existing arbitration agreements to exclude sexual harassment and sexual assault claims, but employers should exclude such claims when drafting future arbitration provisions.
Federal laws regulating arbitration are complex. If you have questions about this or any other workforce issue, please do not hesitate to contact your relationship attorney or one of Honigman’s Labor & Employment attorneys.