President Biden has signed into law a measure that bars forced arbitration for workers who are victims of workplace sexual assault or harassment.

The Ending Forced Arbitration for Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act bars employment contracts from requiring employees to settle their claims through private arbitration instead of in a court of law. Arbitrations have long been considered to benefit employers, as it keeps the cases from becoming public.

Legal experts predict a surge in sexual harassment litigation as a result of the law, which is retroactive, meaning any arbitration clauses in existing employment contracts would not be valid.

It’s estimated that some 60 million workers in the U.S. are under contracts that include forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment claims. Employment law experts say that most workers are likely unaware of these clauses.

The bipartisan measure was introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina. New Federal Law Bars Forced Arbitration for Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims

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