On March 3, 2022, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act was signed into law by President Biden, amending the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925.
First introduced in 2017 by Congresswoman Bustos, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act gained widespread, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, where efforts to pass the legislation were led by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Lindsey Graham.
Hailed as “a milestone in the #MeToo movement,” this law grants essential protection to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who experience sexual assault and harassment and were previously subject to an arbitration clause in any contract voiding the clause. This law allows sexual assault and harassment survivors to pursue the legal remedy that works best for them. Survivors may take their case to court, pursue arbitration, or follow another path to justice.
The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act applies to any contract with an arbitration clause, and survivors who wish to bring a claim can now pursue justice regardless of when the contract was signed. This law does not, however, apply to cases that have already been opened or are currently undergoing the arbitration process.
With the new Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act law, Congresswoman Bustos is launching Silenced No More: Survivors Speak – a public awareness campaign to educate stakeholders about the restoration of survivors’ constitutional rights to pursue a claim in court.
In this series, Congresswoman Bustos is partnering with activist Tanuja Gupta and sexual assault survivors to address organizations and groups about what this new law means and how it impacts them.