Congresswoman Bustos’ Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Workplace Arbitration Contracts

Supreme Court sides with big business by upholding employment contracts that rob workers of their right to hold employer accountable in court.

WASHINGTON – Following the Supreme Court ruling on workplace arbitration contracts, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos issued the following statement.

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to uphold employment contracts that not only force workers into secretive arbitration proceedings, but prohibit them from banding together to bring a class action lawsuit against their employer. The ruling will have far-reaching impacts for American workers. Under forced arbitration, workers cannot take their employer to court—no matter what happens on the job. An estimated 60 million Americans have been subjected to an arbitration clause by their employer and a third of those contracts already include these class action waivers, which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of today.

“This  Supreme Court ruling is a slap in the face to survivors of workplace misconduct, and the #MeToo movement which has made it clear that we must do more to protect American workers from sexual harassment and discrimination,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “We have seen time and time again how corporations like Fox News and Jared and Kay Jewelers have used forced arbitration to sweep sexual harassment under the rug, and this decision undercuts workers’ rights to hold bad actors accountable in court.”

“While I am disappointed by this decision, the fight is far from over. It is now more important than ever that we pass my bipartisan legislation, The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act, to end this underhanded practice that silences survivors and protects workplace predators. Once again, I call on Speaker Ryan to join us on the right side of history and bring this bill to the floor.

For months, Bustos has worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build a broad, bipartisan coalition in support of, The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act. The legislation, which she introduced with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), give survivors of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination the choice to take their employer to court rather than submitting to a mandatory arbitration process.