AG Hawley Joins Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment

Feb 13, 2018, 17:09 PM
Feb 13, 2018, 17:06 PM

Jefferson City, Mo.  Missouri Attorney General Hawley joined a bipartisan coalition of 56 states and territories 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. 

“A transparent government is a key tenant of democracy,” Hawley said. “Allowing our elected representatives to settle harassment claims in secret perpetuates bad behavior—and prevents constituents from knowing the true nature of their elected officials. We, as a nation, must do better to protect victims of sexual harassment and part of this is allowing them access to the judicial system in lieu of forced arbitration.”

The attorneys general 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 cosponsored by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

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. 

A copy of the letter is available here.


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