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Image of the Virginia State Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING JOINS BIPARTISAN COALITION URGING CONGRESS TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES FROM SEXUAL HARASSMENT

~ Bipartisan coalition calls for an end to mandatory arbitration agreements for handling workplace sexual harassment ~

 

RICHMOND (February 12, 2018)- Attorney General Mark R. Herring joined a bipartisan coalition of 56 states and territories today 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.

 

"No one should have to give up their right to protect themselves from sexual harassment as a condition of their employment," said Attorney General Herring. "These arbitration agreements are often tucked deep in contracts so that employees don't even know they may be waiving rights and agreeing to a secretive process that can be inadequate in responding to sexual harassment. The size of this bipartisan coalition shows that the time has come to put an end to this secretive, unfair practice."

 

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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