US Senate says ‘Yes’ to major workplace reform

The bill seeking an end to forced arbitration in case of sexual harassment cases at the workplace has been passed by the Senate and is awaiting the President’s signature to become a legislation

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In a major triumph for the #MeToo movement, the US Senate has passed the bill that proposed putting an end to forced arbitration that prevented many survivors of workplace sexual harassment from approaching the court to seek justice.

The bill is now only awaiting the US President’s signature to become a law, which is a big achievement for those who have been at the receiving end of sexual misconduct at the workplace and have not received justice.

The passage of the bill is a historic event for the US, where there have been innumerable protests, marches, debates and so on as part of the #MeToo movement.

Four years ago, in 2017, a legislation — The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act — was proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Cheri Bustos to end the forced arbitration rules due to which victims of sexual misconduct at many workplaces were unable to go to court.

After the bill received the approval of a majority in the lower chamber earlier, it was passed by a clear majority on February 10 in the Senate. As a result, a signature from the US President is all that is required now for the bill to become a law.

Once implemented, the law will render contract agreements with job conditions that allow organisations to cover up sexual misconduct and prevent survivors from seeking justice, null and void.

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