The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last term on an important employment issue facing millions of Americans: whether a company can force its workers to waive their rights to sue over employment matters, as well as waive the right to pursue their claims by participating in class actions. Employment lawyers are awaiting the decision.
2017 certainly was a noteworthy year for exposing workplace harassment, with complaints of sexual assault and abuse from Hollywood to the boardrooms of companies across the country. But the issue has recently found a new audience: State Attorneys General. Attorneys general from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories told Congress on Monday that it’s time to prohibit employers from keeping claims of sexual harassment hush-hush with forced arbitration.
A letter signed by every attorney general and submitted to congressional leadership offered broad support for bipartisan bills in the Senate and House of Representatives that seek to outlaw “fine print” employment clauses that block sexual harassment victims from getting 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 for egregious misconduct condemned by all concerned Americans,” the letter said.
For too long, companies have settled sexual harassment lawsuits by buying off the rights of victims to speak out and tell others about the offender. Even worse, companies force employees to agree to arbitration clauses and class action waivers as a condition of employment, robbing them of the opportunity to pursue sexual harassment claims in court along with others who have suffered the same mistreatment.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation group have obtained successful outcomes in the courtroom and in arbitration for individuals who have been victimized by sexual harassment and discrimination. If you have experienced unwanted sexual advances at work or have had your employment threatened as the result of sexual harassment, please contact us today discuss your situation and your right to potential damages.