Oklahoma AG asking Congress to end mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma official is joining other leaders from across the country to ask Congress to change the laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter joined 56 other attorneys general from across the country who wrote a letter to Congress, asking for legislation to ensure that victims of sexual harassment can pursue justice in the courts.

Right now, many companies have arbitration clauses in their contracts, meaning that employees must settle their disputes outside of the court system.

“Binding arbitration enables predators by keeping victims’ complaints and settlements secret,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Sexual harassment should never be tolerated. Congress has an opportunity to do what is right and should act without delay to ensure victims of sexual harassment aren’t denied their rights.”

The attorneys general said that arbitration can be beneficial in some aspects, but not when it comes to sexual harassment.

“Ending mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims would help to put a stop to the culture of silence that protects perpetrators at the cost of their victims,” the letter reads.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is currently looking at legislation titled, ‘Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act of 2017.’