WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After years of work, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill to make it easier for victims of sexual harassment to get their day in court.
“The bill is going to help fix a broken system that protects perpetrators and corporations and ends the days of silencing survivors,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said.
Gillibrand sponsored the legislation that prevents forced arbitration for workers who are victims of sexual assault and harassment.
“No longer will survivors of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace come forward and be told that they are legally forbidden to sue their employer because somewhere buried in their employment contracts was this forced arbitration clause,” Gillibrand said.
The bill also voids any past forced arbitration clauses.
“Most people have no idea what they’re doing when they sign an employment contract,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
Graham emphasized their action will protect American workers.
“You’re going to have a chance to be heard differently and is long overdue,” Graham said.
Both Gillibrand and Graham thanked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for working across the aisle to get the bill to the Senate floor.
“People who were harassed will get their rights and have their own choice and their own decisions to make,” Schumer said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) celebrated the outcome.
“It shows that Congress can work in a bipartisan way,” Grassley said.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.