Federal Law Ends Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims

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Patricia Tsipras

March 4, 2022

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, which amends the Federal Arbitration Act and which initially was introduced in 2017 in response to the “Me Too” movement.

The new law allows victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment to litigate their claims in court even if they signed an agreement to arbitrate.  It applies to pre-dispute arbitration agreements (an agreement to arbitrate a dispute that has not yet arisen at the time that the agreement is executed) and to pre-dispute joint-action waivers (an agreement to participate in a joint, class, or collective action concerning a dispute that has not yet arisen at the time that the agreement is executed).

The law took effect immediately and applies to disputes and claims that arise or accrue on or after March 3, 2022.

Employers should review their existing and future mandatory arbitration agreements to ensure compliance with this law.

 
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